I taught English in Japan for 3 years and and became familiar with the Chinese characters (kanji) used in Japanese.  My impression was  that they  empower thought by providing a graphic mental reference.    I was told by a Japanese friend that “kanji wa kanji ga aru”–“kanji have feeling”–which I took to mean that they evoke  aesthetic  reactions in a way that alphabetically written words do not.  I believe this–a combination of images can shine with a special mental light.

Several years ago I was reviewing kanji using the book Kanji ABC by Foerster and Tamura.  The simple kanji are fine in themselves, but when they are put together as constituent parts of more complex characters, they often don’t make  sense.  They are often also  over-complicated, using  two characters and a jungle of strokes for an idea that could be conveyed with a few simple lines.

What if, I thought, one could make such characters for English,  as simple and expressive as possible, using images from every day life?  So I began doodling around with it.  I liked my results and was unable to stop.

After I’d made a thousand or so I came across Blissymbols on the net.  This was a boost to me, since although they are a “successful” enterprise,  I feel that mine take a much better approach, with happier solutions to the many problems involved.

I’ve been told that they look like an alien script, which I take as a compliment.

See “basics” for some of the limited number of  chinese characters, hieroglyphs, logical symbols, etc., I make use of.  I could (or someone else could!) eliminate all such sources so that the characters are more original, but it’s not important to me.  Simple Chinese characters and hieroglyphs make up a minor fraction and are a nice spice.

3 Responses to Origins

  1. Ellen Brown says:

    Amazing! Looks like channeling or morphogenetic fields to me — or just some native genius!

  2. Eter says:

    Im interested in your neoideogramatics, but have you ever attempted to make an orthography?

    • ErnieM says:

      Thanks for your interest. I don’t know if I’ve attempted an orthography or not. Just what do you mean
      by the the term? If you mean standardization, I would need to get more people doing “ids” and would leave the standardization up to them. Someone suggested having a wikipedia-type set-up so that people could contribute new ids, and this could be used for standardization too–perhaps with “likes”. Maksym Taran, a programmer who works for Google’s AI team, began that process by creating some id look-up programs. On the other hand, the way I do ids is to continually and spontaneously create new ones, and I think it should be this way for everyone.
      When I did my “intro to neoideograms” talk someone asked if I had my own grammar. I answered glibly “no,” but later it occurred to me that this is a very good question. As is, I just use ordinary English grammar, but I could, indeed, add grammar ideograms that might not only clarify grammar, but extend it, just as some of my ideograms transcend ordinary English.
      Neoideograms are a potential means of moving English (and language in general) into the future.

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