The most significant thing about writing is that it makes possible the detachment of affirmation from the speaker. Without writing, all speech is context-bound: in such conditions, the only way in which an affirmation can be endowed with special solemnity is by ritual emphasis, by an unusual and deliberately solemnized context, by a prescribed rigidity of manner. But once writing is available, an affirmation can be detached from context. The fact that it is so detached in turn constitutes a very special context of a radically new kind. In a sense, the transcendent is born at that point, for meaning now lives without speaker or listener. It also makes possible solemnity without emphasis, and respect for content rather than for context.