19 January 2008

an idea for a briefscript

No question Dutton Speedwords is the king of briefscripts. It continues to attract new fans every year, as seen here and here.

Ideas for new briefscript projects roll through my brain occasionally. One involves using the weirdly accented and diacritically marked Roman letters and phonetic symbols that are available in Unicode. With one glyph per concept you get a pretty compact writing system.

I'm not going to have time to develop this idea fully, but here's a crude approximation of what I have in mind. Let's translate the English sentence "Soak two cups of beans in water overnight." That's 42 glyphs including spaces and the period. As you can see this is represented by 11 glyphs in the prototype briefscript.

The briefscript text literally means "cause to-be-located-in water during entire night [direct object tag] two cup(s) bean(s)."

Well, that's just a rough example of what could be done along these lines. Personally I find it easier to write such a script with pen and paper than to key it into the computer. Somebody should invent a keyboard optimized for people who need to use a broad variety of diacritical marks and unusual characters.

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