Glosa in the Information Age
- I know very little about Glosa, but have been thinking about a common
language for awhile and happened to stumble across it this week.
I put together a blog entry today putting forth an idea, and was
wondering if anyone outside the programming world could provide
feedback on it. I'm not even sure if it's a new idea or not.
Now and even more so in the future people will be reading information
stored on computers. I'm sure we can design new letters which are
easy to read in print and in electronic form, while still being simple
for computers to recognize. Graffiti is used by the Palm Pilot as an
alternative to the Modern Latin Alphabet. If we use Graffiti-type
letters instead of the Latin or Roman letters it would be easier for
computers to recognize the text. Combined with Glosa, we'd not only
have a language which allows cultures to communicate, but for
computers to recognize easily as well.
Entire blog entry:
Sorry if this board usually posts in Glosa opposed to English, I don't
have any experience with it yet. My Glosa in the blog entry may also
need to be corrected.
>Hi Don,Glad you like Glosa.
Guess you have not looked far into its reason for being.
Yes we do take messages in other languages; prefer to have the first
language plus Glosa; OR as I usually do... think in Glosa, write the Glosa,
then give an English language rendition.
~mi grafo uti Glosa; seqe, mi grafo uti England Lingua.~
' I write in Glosa, then I write in English.'
However, I see no actual conceptual leap in using the "Graffiti" font,
other than to facilitate the writing of info on a hand-held stylus-input
In Glosa, the hidden flaw has always been the need to teach people who
use alternative writing schemes to the Roman alphabet, how to write in this
script. The second hidden flaw has been in trying to get people to use
plain (non-metaphor) thinking and to put these '''concept/words''' into
pure, syntactical sentences.
...The use of "Graffiti" script addresses neither of these
I very strongly suspect that the lower-case, simple Latin script is
easier to read than the upper-case version of this script, and, even
without much experience of it, I believe the Graffiti font, with its
irregularly shaped letters would be even harder to read, and possibly more
tiring to the eyes, than having to struggle through pages of Latin script
USING ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS!
While I respect your search for better ways of achieving
international written/typed communication than at present, I'd say that
adopting an easily written font for the Latin script - especially one based
on the upper-case form of that script - is not the way to go.
Worse than that, I would imagine that adopting an easily
stylus-written script is a rationalisation for using 'Notepad-type'
computers created by an executive of a note-pad type corporation.
I would also question the existence of educational research trials
testing the ease of learning of Graffiti font by school-children, both
those in Latin-script culture and those living in cultures with other than
While Blissymbols was an obvious attempt to come up with a
culture-free set of communication symbols, these are not easy to write, and
there is no spoken form for them. They could be written and read
internationally - within a very limited 'vocabulary' range, but they would
not pass the "telephone test." And Graffiti font used with Glosa, for that
matter, would do nothing to make speaking Glosa any easier.
In all seriousness, just to show that I have not avoided thinking
about innovative symbology in relation to Glosa, I wwould mention
SYNTAX. In the task of teaching an Iternational Alternative Language,
possibly Glosa, to the world, of much greater significance than coming up
with a better font, is the question of teaching a suitable use of
syntax. By doing a bit of searching in the stacks at Sydney University, I
found two elderly books that contained alphanumeric symbol systems for
demonstrating and teaching the use of syntax.
Now, although it might be a secret, Glosa has a system of grammar
that I have described as 'Syntax-based." The Glosa authors' idea was for
people to use plain, and somewhat standardised, language that followed an
agreed '''natural''' syntax. There was a problem with this: the authors
of Glosa had not written down the rules of syntax that Glosa was supposed
to follow; nor were there any abstract symbols to indicate a syntactical
You guessed it: I settled down to the task of creating a set of
symbols that could be used to indicate a syntactic sequence ... without
reference to the words of any language! In short, I selected the
non-alphanumeric symbols on the keyboard of a standard computer (there's
about thirty of them), and set about appointing suitable symbols to the
various syntactic elements.
EG "The cat ate the canary." might have been shown, . /
"The cat sat on the mat." . /
"The cat sat on the mat, and ate the canary." . / `. &/
. (& - conjunction)
In trying to cover all bases, I had to call on a few alphabetic
symbols; and, I used different numbers of spaces to indicate junctions
between phrases, clauses and sentences.
What was a real hoot was the fact that my amazing innovation was
completely ignored by everyone. If a language that had 'Syntax-based
Grammar' was to be taught worldwide, then perhaps there was a need to
demonstrate, and teach, syntactically-correct usage; and, logically, there
could be a case for developing a set of suitable, non-verbal symbols to
demonstrate the use of this 'natural syntax.'
Well, either I am mad, or the rest of the world is mad. Having put
twenty years of serious work into promoting Glosa, I have come to the
conclusion that the concepts on which Glosa is based are ahead of their
time... and that things might be more amenable next time around. Having
observed the unsustainable use of resources, a generally blatant disrespect
for the laws of nature, and the racially suicidal use of materials such as
Depleted Uranium, I reserve my opinion on the sanity of the human
race. What hope is there for Glosa, the Graffiti font, syntax symbols, or
any other promising idea, in a world that appears to be intent on
Actually, If I am concerned about the use of an International
Auxiliary Language, I ought to - as my brother insists - get with the
obvious winner, and learn, and promote, Esperanto. The fact that Esperanto
affixes do not suit the way my brain works is one reason for not taking my
brother's advice; however, there do really seem to be more urgent problems
to solve within the human experience, than that of the adoption of a
Mi spe ke homi habe triumfa supra an natura te destru; ko-co, an
nece gene holo un auxi an pote cepti.
[I hope that Mankind triumphs over his destructive nature; (but) with
that, he needs all the help he can get.]
- hi marcel
liked u joko, appealed to the cynic in me - looking at esperanto - comments
hi don and robin
interseted in the scripy, i see no reason why glosa shd not be written in
other scripts arabis etc
interested in robin#s work on syntax
follow up later
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