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3-D Orthography

Not to be confused with 3-D versions of 2-D letters.
  [vote for,

Forgive me if this idea is a bit tough to imagine. I'll try to explain. But keep in mind that conventional writing probably sounded impossibly abstract when it was first proposed. Ok, here goes:

When it comes to representing words, (as far as I know) in all of human history we have been content with nothing more than 2-D representations of language, which is actually really sort of 1-D beyond the shapes of the letters/characters. I say we go for three, something along the lines of a cross between Legos and Jenga. Instead of a Left to Right or Up to Down system, we’d be representing grammatically acceptable utterances with, like, a pile of interconnected pieces. The best part about it would be the strong connection with our words that we as builders of meaning would feel. We’d have our words in our hands, then on a surface in front of us where we could consider them from various angles. Such a system could offer greater precision (like, less ambiguity) than conventional writing systems because we'd have an infinite number of angles to work with (now we just have before and after along a one dimensional line and a few punctuation marks), with each angle potentially offering a slightly different shade of meaning.

Arby, Nov 07 2003

3D Crossword Puzzle http://www.akropolis.net/~zeus/crossword/
Sorta like this? [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Of course, then you'd also have to worry about orientation. Also, I wouldn't say there isn't ANY 3-D representation of feeling and thought. Some would say Michelangelo's David speaks volumes. And what about Braille?
Reverend_Cobol, Nov 07 2003

       I understand that for the writing part, its very feasable, cheap, and caters to the lazy to simply scribble 2-D letters on paper ... this might be intersting for a children's musem or something along those lines, but as far as everyday use, it goes a little out of the way ... I've also read al little on traditional Japanese writing in which each character can stand for many things, depending on the context of the written statement ... our English language in comparison is very linear, and straight-laced ... where as the asian text is flexable, able to represent more to the reader than the single-word-at-a-time text like this ...
Letsbuildafort, Nov 07 2003

       I think you are describing a 3D pictographic system that flows in a way akin to mind maps. Maybe you are thinking of Chinese/Japanese characters whose simplified strokes represent pictures (in Japanese the symbol for an argument is alledgedly two women in the same house).   

       I recommend you look at existing diagramatic ways to describe meaning. I encounter those in an AI module of my 80s Computer Science degree and although they were 2D they could easily be extended. They tended to express implicit transition and modification in explicit, graphical manner.
Aristotle, Nov 07 2003

       No, I'm thinking of just another way of representing English or any other language just as current writing systems represent spoken language (and don't constitute a new language). So, not a mind map. More like syntactic trees that come off the page and exist as real structures. So, sure, too much effort for most situations, but it could be good for important things like legal documents where precision is key (and there's plenty of storage space for a big-ass 3-D model).
Arby, Nov 07 2003

       Perhapse I'm not understanding ... the english language as far as I can see is very linear, and has only so many ways of being presented. Even if you had text jump out at me like a giant pop-up book, I would still have to carefully read and comprehend each word as I came across it. Unless you're not taking into account how much time would be comsumed decyphering thoughts put into this format. I was under the impression that this would increase precision aswell as speed-up understanding of english text. Thats why I cited the Japenese writing examples. Their literary system not only provides for flexible expression of thoughts and ideas, but also quite quick in doing so if you happen to be well versed in the language. However that mode of communication does leave something be desired in the way of precision.
Letsbuildafort, Nov 07 2003

       Will this not make A-Level Maths a prerequisite for an English degree?
silverstormer, Nov 07 2003

       Thanks for the anno, [buddaa_pset] ... I was unaware of the that occurance twards the Western styles of writing   

       /becoming slightly more educated
Letsbuildafort, Nov 07 2003

       Braille is still 2-D encoded. Combine this with my 'Math-modified Language' for a real mental brainf...   

       The real problem is that vision forces essentially a 2-D mapped environment.
RayfordSteele, Nov 07 2003


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