When the playwright George Bernard Shaw died in 1950, he left instructions in his will for the creation of a new, more efficient alphabet for writing English, with each letter representing one English sound. Part of his wealth was set aside for its creation, and a competition was started that invited designers from all over the world to submit proposals. When the judging was done, the entry of Kingsley Read was chosen to become what became known as the Shaw Alphabet (or 'Shavian').
One book, a bi-alphabetical version of Androcles and the Lion (cover shown left) was produced, with copies sent to libraries all over the English-speaking world. It was hoped that the alphabet would gain support through its inherent benefits; despite attracting plenty of attention at the time, the alphabet sadly faded into obscurity...
...until 1999, when the Shavian YahooGroup (formerly eGroups) was formed. Since then, Shavian enthusiasts from around the world have had one place to meet, discuss their interests, share texts, and of course converse in Shavian.
The group recently moved from its old location (the "shavian" group) to this new group (the "shawalphabet" group) due to the moderator having vanished. You can find the old group, along with its 6-year message archive, here.
If you are new to this group, here you will find, among other things:
- Email/web-based discussion in and about the Shaw Alphabet
- Fonts, software and other files that help you write, read and learn Shavian
- Links to all known Shavian-related websites
To post and receive messages in Shavian, you will need the Shaw Sans 2 (TTF) font. It is automatically e-mailed to all new members by default, but is also available via the 'Files' section, in the 'Fonts' folder.