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Two thousand glyph script for Southern English English

Thanks to [Ian] for the inspiration
  (+3, -6)
(+3, -6)
  [vote for,

Eurasia is potentially symmetrical, bracketed as it is by two island nations with obfuscatory orthography and various other similarities. At the same time, English is rather annoyingly spelt, to the extent that we might as well just have an ideogram for each word.

Japanese is fortunate enough to have straightforward syllables which generally consist of alternating consonants and vowels. Consequently, it can employ syllabaries, whereof each syllable can correspond to a character in one of two different sets of characters.

Then there's the Arabic script. Letters have up to four forms each, according to whether they occur alone or at the start, middle or end of a word.

Bear with me: this really is going somewhere.

Now for English. The language spoken using the RP accent can be thought of as having twenty-four consonants and twelve vowels along with eight diphthongs. This yields four hundred and eighty CV plus CVV' syllables, many of which are never used such as “nga”, but that's fine because the Khmer script, for example, includes a number of letters which are never used.

Unlike Japanese, English has many consonant clusters and syllables ending in consonants, so the thirty-six phonemes plus eight diphthongs should also be included, yielding five hundred and twenty-four characters, but we're not finished. Following the Arabic model, each of these characters could have four forms, leaving us with a total of two thousand and ninety-six glyphs.

So the idea is this: introduce a partly syllabic script for English with over two thousand possible glyphs, many of which are useless.

This sounds insane of course. However, it has advantages. It would be more phonetic than English and eliminate most spelling problems at a stroke. It would protect the English language from American influence. Scots would be a more distinctive tongue. Certain words could be written using a single unique character, notably the personal pronoun “i” and its homophones “aye” and “eye” - it could even be written using a stylised picture of an eye such as a circle with a dot at the centre. Any single syllable word of the phonetic form V, VV', CV or CVV' would effectively have an ideogram while the whole script would remain phonetic. A larger number of words could be fitted into a smaller space. Spaces between words could be completely dispensed with. The cardinal numerals “two” and “four” could be written using single characters, perhaps the standard Western Arabic digits. Some characters are already available in the form of the names of the letters, for instance most of the letters of the alphabet.

Finally, British English would be able to retain its distinctive nature by being written in a completely impenetrable way.

nineteenthly, Sep 27 2010

Baked, sort of. http://englischlehr...guage/phonetics.php
[hippo, Sep 27 2010]

IPA http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/
[pocmloc, Sep 27 2010]

I want to have a shirt made that displays " IPIPA " http://en.wikipedia...wiki/India_Pale_Ale
[normzone, Sep 27 2010]


       ... eeeuuurrrgh...
infidel, Sep 27 2010

       Honest, it does make sense. It just needs to be written in another alphabet and all will become clear.
nineteenthly, Sep 27 2010

       I hear the sound of one hand crapping. Gotta go!
infidel, Sep 27 2010

infidel, Sep 27 2010

       To an extent, [hippo], but more sophisticated and easier to write.
nineteenthly, Sep 27 2010

pocmloc, Sep 27 2010

       I like the idea of having an ideogram for each word. I wonder which one it should be? I suppose a competition could be held.
Ian Tindale, Sep 27 2010

       IPA is insufficiently obfuscatory.
nineteenthly, Sep 27 2010

       If you really want to be as impenetrable as Japanese, you need to introduce multiple verb forms of various formality levels.
gisho, Sep 27 2010

       //before the advent of global crapulence//   

       That should be recorded for posterity.
infidel, Sep 27 2010

       Don't worry [gisho], i have more planned in that regard.
nineteenthly, Sep 28 2010

       I keep reading this as Two Thousand Year Crypt For English
infidel, Sep 28 2010

       I have to vote against this with extreme prejudice. We've spent 500 years subjugating the world's cultures and forcing everyone to learn English and then mocking their strange, foreign accents and criticising them for the poor standard of their grammar even though we can barely speak the language proper ourselves, innit!

So why in the wide, wide world of sports would we want to start making life easier for people? You must be some sort of long-haired, bolshie anarchist!
DrBob, Sep 28 2010

       [nineteenthly] strikes me as a well-educated person who simply thinks too much, [DrBob]. Something of an antithesis to the founders of the Gittish Empire.
infidel, Sep 28 2010

       And what about the poor children that need to learn all this?   

xxobot, Sep 28 2010

       The children'd be fine, it's the rest of us who'd need to worry. Theyd get a stylised picture of an ear in a circle and they'd say "ear", or a bracketed trophy and a female deer and say "window". The rest of us might scratch our heads a bit.
nineteenthly, Sep 29 2010


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