DiRenzo, “His Master’s Voice”

I learned a lot about writing from DiRenzo’s text, but also about history itself. For example, I did not know how much of an impact Tiro’s new method of shorthand writing affected society as a whole and brought about much controversy. Words can definitely be powerful.

I also found it interesting how even though writing was more controversial and complex back in Tiro’s time, there are some comparisons we can make to today’s society. When DiRenzo discussed the relationship between Cicero and Tiro, I often forget how in their time, people were hired to write down what other people spoke. However, while times are much different, I think this relationship relates to journalism in a way because journalists write down what other people say.

Another similarity I saw was how Tiro and other scribes would use different writing styles and tools depending on the type of document they were creating and if they were writing a draft or permanent document. We still use this tactic today, because we often use pencils for drafts and pens for permanent documents. Typing is now an option today as well to make our writing look more formal.

One other phrase that stuck out to me was when DiRenzo noted that scribes only kept track of “Rome’s finest moments, her acts and words of heroism.” I think this adds to the significance of Tiro’s shorthand, because it allowed more history to be documented, even the negative aspects. It makes sense that writing caused a lot of controversy back then, and it’s interesting to see how far we’ve come.

Source: DiRenzo, “His Master’s Voice”

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