Weekly Writing #2: Paraphrasing Wood

For my paraphrasing of Wood, I choose this passage on the development of maps, “People make maps to discover their minds and to connect themselves. These are also the reasons people talk, so where talk serves maps are rare. But when talk becomes inadequate, either because the discourse gets too complicated, or there are too many people, or they are separated by too great distances or too much time-as invariably happens with the emergence of modern states-people develop alternative forms of communication” (Wood, 19).

Paraphrase one: People craft maps to find their thoughts and connect with each other. They are the reasons why people converse, so when speech is utilized maps are uncommon. However, when speech is no longer convenient due to complex language, larger populations, vast separation of peoples over a long period of time-which is also the creation of modern states- people find ways of developing different forms of communication.

Paraphrase two: Maps are made for people to learn about themselves and make connections with others. This is also the same reasoning for people to converse face to face, so when this is the primary form of communication maps fall by the wayside. But when speech becomes complex, major population growth occurs, when people and communities are divided great distances and time-which also happens to be the birth of a modern country-people find new forms to stay connected.

Paraphrase three: People make maps to learn about themselves and connect with others. These are the same principles for why people talk, so when talking is the norm then maps are infrequent. But when talking becomes difficult from the development of language, growing numbers of people, or when people are isolated by distance and time-which are also the foundations of the modern state- people discover new ways to convey their message.

I choose this passage because it explains why maps and map making only came into prominence in arguably recent human history. What Wood describes in this passage is that there was no need for maps when there is a small concentration of people living simple agrarian lives. But as civilization became more complex and expansive around the world, talking would prove difficult to communicate to communities around the world and across oceans. With evolving societies, communication would also need to change to complement each other and preserve sustainability. This can be seen historically with the map explosion of the seventeenth-century around the world.

By paraphrasing the passage, I gained a deeper understanding of how a statement can be conveyed in multiple ways. But every time it is done, each new paraphrase brings out something new by emphasizing a specific point or giving new perspective that the author did not intend. This new meaning can alter the message to mean something different or make it easier for others to understand. Paraphrasing also got me to think about language and using synonyms to convey a similar message of the author. Again, using different words can change the context and almost personalize the statement through the author’s passage.

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