Thursday, September 30, 2004

Uncommon Newspaper

I read this on a page describing the great early Chinese inventions.

The Chinese invention of moveable type, credited to Bi Sheng in the year 1045 AD, did not significantly impact Chinese society. Three hundred years later in Europe, Gutenberg's development of moveable type revolutionized the Western world. Why? The Chinese language uses 3000 to 5000 characters in an average newspaper. The English language, in comparison, uses 26 characters in an average newspaper.

Indeed, average English newspapers use only 26 characters, unlike exemplary papers like the New York Times and Washington Post, which use 28 characters, and pulps like USA Today, which use 24 characters, omitting the "p" and "g" on weekdays.

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