Category Archives: Rating: 3 “I did not know that”

Ogham – 300 AD, Ireland

Ogham is a runic script mostly used in Ireland, but to a lesser extent in the northern island of Britain.  While the earliest provable use dates from the 4th century AD, there are linguistic clues that it is older: there … Continue reading

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Old Hungarian — 600? AD, Hungary

Hungary, despite being solidly in Europe, has had a long history of trade with and conquest by Central Asian peoples.  It is not entirely clear where Hungarians came from — or more specifically, where the people who brought the Hungarian … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, now ceremonial, probably first in its area, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 2 Comments

Leet — ~1980 AD, USA

Leet, also known as “1337” is a writing system developed for the English language which gains some of its value in being difficult to understand — but not too difficult.  It is in some respects a code-substitution cipher, where glyphs … Continue reading

Posted in Alphabet, private or secret, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 1 Comment

Tolong Siki — 1999 AD, India

Tolong Siki was developed rather recently for the Kurukh spoken language.  Previously, Devanagari was used (and is still used in large part a decade later). Tolong Siki is one of the few languages that was created from scratch collaboratively that … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, National pride, now ceremonial, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | Leave a comment

Gondi — 1928 AD, India

Gondi was developed by a gentleman named Munshi Mangal Singh Masaram, to be used in central India to write the Gondi language.  (In India, it almost appears that people don’t take a spoken language (and hence ethnicity) seriously unless it … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, inventor known, National pride, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 1 Comment

Tamil — 700 AD, India

Tamil is descended in part from Grantha and in part from Vatteluttu.  Grantha and Vatteluttu are relatively closely related, and the two were used together for a time, so it was relatively easy to smear the two together. Tamil has … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, Rating: 3 "I did not know that", technology influenced | 1 Comment

Pau Cin Hau Logograms — 1902 AD, Mayanmar

In 1902 AD, a man named Pau Cin Hau had a dream where the characters of a logographic script were revealed to him.  He also developed the Laipian religion, and his script was used extensively in liturgical works.  Laipian actually … Continue reading

Posted in inventor known, Logograms, National pride, now ceremonial, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 6 Comments

Mahajani — 1600 AD? <1850 AD?, India

Mahajani, like the Punjabi Landa, was used as a mercantile script (and is sometimes classified with Landa).  Unlike Punjabi Landa, which dispenses with vowels altogether, Mahajani is sort of like a sloppy alphabet.  It is possible to show a vowel … Continue reading

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Kaithi — 1500 AD, India

Kaithi is Brahmi-derived, descended from Nagari. Because of the fuzziness in when Bengali split from Nagari, it’s not really clear whether to say if Kaithi is descended from Bengali or from Nagari; this means Kaithi is either sibling to Devanagari … Continue reading

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Gujarati — <1600 AD, India

Gujarati is a direct descendant of Devanagari, used mostly but not exclusively for writing the Gujarati language. Like the Landa scripts, Gujarati was initially used mostly for commerce. It is sometimes called “banker’s script”, “merchant’s script”, or “trader’s script” in … Continue reading

Posted in Abugida, Rating: 3 "I did not know that" | 2 Comments