Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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IronoGraph

Avoiding World War III through careful hand gestures
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In our multi-cultural society, there is potential for confusion, caused by the misinterpretation of signals found in everyday conversation. Indeed previous articles that I posted to 'half-bakery' have already fallen victim.

I propose a novel solution, the 'IronoGraph'. This would take the form of a series of flags with internationally agreed symbols, giving extra meaning to the words spoken. Users would perform a simple 'handshake' akin to Semaphore movements, before. More advanced users could increase the 'baud' rate and introduce dialects such as those found in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

This approach has the advantage that it only requires the consensus of all the worlds countries which could be organized during a lunch-break at one of the frequent United Nation meetings. To help achieve this consensus, all symbols would be American.

Such flags could be manufactured cheaply from recycled materials and provide much needed work for those in Third-World countries. However, I see all of flag symbols being incorporated into PDA's within a year and would include back-lighting[patent pending] to enable night-time use. This could prove vital for the deeply-ironic city dweller who runs the daily risk of RSI from making "invisible quotation marks" using their bare hands.

Unfortunately, this would only work in face to face conversation, so I propose a series of Unicode 'smiley' extensions (;-0) - two or three hundred should do it. Apart from avoiding poorly-executed irony spiraling into armed conflict, this approach could have exciting benefits, such as gaining an insight into English humour.

PDA - Pushes Data Around

RSI - Really Sore Index-Finger

riposte, Mar 22 2001

Fun with flags http://155.187.10.12/flags/semaphore.html
Wave everybody.. [riposte, Mar 22 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

The Tower of Babel? http://www.unicode.org/
Just type bigger... [riposte, Mar 22 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       Hmm. I don't know. Is there any way we could make the symbols strictly white, male American? Otherwise, I think there could be room for confusion.
centauri, Mar 22 2001
  

       With carefully applied trade sanctions, anything is possible...
riposte, Mar 27 2001
  

       Legos and iMacs come with pictoral instructions. World peace should work similarly.
moonmoose, Mar 28 2001
  
      
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