Start at the beginning
- developed by illiterate(s)
- Evolved slowly from parent
- first in its area
- inventor known
- language unknown
- mercantile script
- National pride
- now ceremonial
- previous script didn't quite work
- private or secret
- probably developed by illiterate(s)
- probably first in its area
- Rating: 1 "Dull, only here for completeness"
- Rating: 2 "Not all that interesting"
- Rating: 3 "I did not know that"
- Rating: 4 "Huh, interesting!"
- Rating: 5 "Whoa!!"
- revealed in a dream
- significant female influence
- spiritual or supernatural
- technology influenced
Category Archives: Rating: 5 “Whoa!!”
Emperor Charlemagne apparently tried to learn how to read and write, but with poor success. Probably part of his difficulty was that he had to spend a bunch of time conquering countries, part of the difficulty was that he started … Continue reading
Gyaru-moji is sort of like a Japanese Leet: a variant orthography for Japanese. Unlike Leet, which was developed in the predominantly male hacker culture, Gyaru-moju (which means “girl characters”) appears to have been developed by schoolgirls. In both cases, by … Continue reading
Syloti Nagari, also called Sylheti Nagari, was used in northeastern India from around 1550 AD until the 1970s. The region where it was used — the Sylhet region of Bangladesh — has been Muslim for a very long time, which … Continue reading
Oriya probably descended from Bengali, though some say Kalinga (a script so obscure I can’t find out much about it, and which unfortunately shares a name with a language spoken in the Phillipines). Oriya looks quite different from the other … Continue reading
In the early part of the 20th century, archeologist Aurel Stein discovered manuscripts in northwestern China in a script that had been lost for centuries, in a language that which completely stunned the linguistic community. The first surprise was that … Continue reading
Much like Aztec and Mixtec, Naxi Dongba is a highly pictographic communication system. Like Aztec and Mixtec, it’s almost not a writing system. If you look at a picture of the writing, it looks more like what we think of … Continue reading
Many writing systems have a finite set of glyphs; you can write down a complete list and there are no others, except for the rare invention of new characters. But some writing systems have an open-ended set of glyphs; no … Continue reading
Like King Sejong did four hundred years later with Korean, Emperor Li Yuanhao of the Tangut told one of his advisors to make him a new writing system. Yeli Renrong did, and quickly. Yuanhao must have been more forceful than … Continue reading
There was one female ruler of China, Wu Zetian, who, among other things, mandated use of around twenty new characters. (These characters were presented to her by a junior relative, Zong Qinke, but she went along with it.) She took … Continue reading
While Hiragana and Hangul were considered “women’s scripts”, nobody actively prevented the men from using the script as well, and eventually the men came around. However, in China, women were actively prevented from learning Chinese script, so they went underground … Continue reading