Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Stick and circle alphabet

Simplified character set, easy to signal
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The letters p, q, b, d already look like a circle with an attached stick. Grab a piece of paper and you easily find four more combinations. Add a second stick and you get over 20 total. That should be enough to make up an alphabet and digits. Some combinations of these letters could be used to replace the remaining letters of the current alphabet. We already do this for some sounds, e.g. "sh".

People used to these letters would find it easier to write on PDAs (my PDA is real good at telling b from d, but can't tell my v from r or u).
In noisy situations everybody would automatically know how to signal with his/her arms (take head as circle, arms as sticks, or two fingers around tip of the nose). The art of signaling would not be limited to boy-scouts and sailors any more.
Everybody could establish basic communicate with deaf/mute people, even if one of the party does not understand a specialized sign language.

I don't know if this alphabet would drive dyslexics nuts, but for the rest of us it would be useful. To help dyslexics the new alphabet could have more two-letter combinations than really required, just to add redundancy to the recognition.

kbecker, Jan 29 2004

For [grayure] http://www.geocities.com/squarecircle01/
My first attempt to put something on Yahoo, have mercy. [kbecker, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I like it. But good luck breaking our conditioning...
Space-Pope, Jan 29 2004
  

       Yeah, us old dogs. But the next generation may learn it easily if it becomes part of the SMS lifestyle. The 5 key becomes the circle and the surrounding keys indicate the sticks. Entry becomes even faster than the triple click and recipient sees circles and sticks.
kbecker, Jan 29 2004
  

       Here in the States we haven't even gotten the metric system down yet...
TerranFury, Jan 29 2004
  

       I think trying to teach this would be a nightmare...
po, Jan 30 2004
  

       One of the notations used to write down semaphore is based on a clock face and therefore just uses circles and lines. As for communicating with hearing impaired people or those without speech, existing sign languages have whole words in them so much easier to use than spelling everything out and finger spelling works for those words that don't have signs. It's also hard to use body position to indicate tense with semaphore but relatively easy in existing sign languages.
oneoffdave, Jan 30 2004
  

       I like it, but if we're going to rewrite the aplhabet could we make it phonetic at the same time? Form a simple caculation I make 65 posible combinations [including just a plain circle, one stick and two sticks, with 8 positions for the sticks] which I'd think would be enough for the phonemes of most languages. Also it would look pretty, giving the ability to have palandromic words that reflect the letters as well.
cFish, Jan 30 2004
  

       [cFish] That's a lot more letters than I had first estimated after a few scribbles, but I think you are correct (see link for my systematic approach). We should be able to cover at least the European languages. I'm not sure about Far East.
kbecker, Jan 30 2004
  

       Nicely thought out, but I remain neutral. I suspect that the letters with lines sticking out left and right would make it harder to see the breaks between words. A typographer would probably make the horizontals much smaller than the verticals and might be able to minimize the problem.
ConsultingDetective, Feb 04 2004
  

       "In the news today, a nuclear crisis was narrowly averted when the ambassador from North Korea realized he was reading the latest US policy pronouncement up-side-down..."
RayfordSteele, Feb 04 2004
  

       I think the circle part should represent what you do with your mouth (puckered "o", wide "O", or flattened oval), and the stick part should indicate what you do with your tongue (/ for touching the roof of your mouth; \ for touching your lower teeth, -- for straight on).   

       Maybe another component to the letter would indicate whether it is guttural or fricative or whistled - or whatever.
phundug, Feb 05 2004
  

       //US policy pronouncement up-side-down// Didn't he see the face was upside down? Probably had too much of that imported Sake again. ;-)   

       [phun] That would be a nice help for tourists. To maintain the possibility of arm signaling the additional signs should only describe pronounciation, not the meaning of the letter.
kbecker, Feb 05 2004
  

       I actually have a con-script that resembles this, although I havent assigned phonetic values. I'm new to halfbakery and Im not sure if I can post a link myself, if I can, I have a picture of the glyphs I have so far and Id be glad to show them as long as people didnt steal them and use them without my permission *as a conlanger he likes to make con-scripts for languages he makes*
Seolyk, Sep 21 2005
  

       i think it would just look cool
sooriir, Apr 22 2008
  

       [Seolyk], please do, it would be very interesting.
nineteenthly, Apr 22 2008
  
      
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