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Chapter 1. Why Writing Matters > The Power of the Pen - Pg. 3

Why Writing Matters 3 The Power of the Pen We live in an age of touch-tone phones, cordless phones, and cell phones. There are still a few rotary phones plugged in, too. (I have one!) And let's not forget beepers. In a worst-case scenario, we can always hop in the car and speak to someone face to face. So why bother writing? Why can't we just say what we mean? Why does writing matter in an age of constant electronic yakking? Author! Author! Scientists have discovered that babies recognize elements of speech sounds very shortly after birth and they begin to copy the patterns of speech before they can form words. At one month, infants can distinguish certain features of spoken sound that will later represent vowels and consonants. Before a child is one year old, it is possible to tell Chinese-, French-, and English-speaking babies apart from tape recordings of their babbling. Take this quiz to see whether you recognize writing's advantages. Answer True (T) if you think the statement is true or False (F) if you think I'm a liar. Unlike speech, writing allows us to ... True False