bpj at netg.se bpj at netg.se
Wed Apr 16 22:13:28 UTC 1997

>Otherwise, since you know where to find all those fonts, do you know by
>any chance where I could find a font of the shavian alphabet? (Does it

There is a Shavian font somewhere at this site:


It is a long time since I actually was there, and I haven't used the font
myself. If it doesn't fit your platform, tell me and I'll convert it --
assuming that you use something else than unix.

>even have an encoding scheme?) No that's not a trivia question :),

Actually there is a proposal in the ConScript Unicode Registry, IIRC (whose
url I can dig up on request...) I don't think this font complies to it,
though; rather it is one of those like-sound-to-like-letter mappings made
by people who have either not heard of Unicode, or think it's a waste of
time to comply to it until it's properly implementable everywhere. (<rant
of the day> I vacillate between this attitude, lip service to the idea of
Unicode, and thinking that a lot of the Unicode stuff is the darn silly
produce of engineering nerds without feeling for the linguistic side of
scripts, not to mention the distinction between nice-looking,
identity-building, market-friendly printer output and just plain getting a
message across... </rant>

>I really like how it looks, looks a bit like malayalam to me,
>except for that it's not incredibly useful.

I like it too. That it "looks" like an eastern script rather than a western
one is probably one (relatively minor!) factor why it didn't catch on, even
among those who might have found it a good compromise between shorthand and
longhand for note-taking. I know one person over the Net, who actually has
used it that way, and who is actually concerned about the problem of
English spelling. He thinks that for a new script for English to catch on
it must BOTH be autonomous of the Latin alphabet AND look like a western
alphabet. Also there must be a major global upheaval, imo, but that's
another story... In a way Shavian reminds me an uncanny lot about the
various "missionary scripts".

One problem with Shavian is that it's poorly portable to other languages. I
tried to remap the vowels onto Swedish some ten years ago when I first
discovered Shavian, but the result lacked the sense of logic of the

Comment on ecrit en Francais en Shavienne? Have you tried it?

>It suddenly got reminded I don't know why, and I thought you were the
>right person to answer this question. (If you can't don't lose any
>sleep over it :)

I don't sleep a lot anyways, since I got an aching back...

>ps: Don't forget to add info for translitteration of shavian to your
>    page :)

Dhaet wood bee Nue Speling, Ie taek it!

|    _   \  \     _   / / _  _
/ | (_ | |   \ \/  \_ \ \  \  \_
                      / /

*  B.Philip Jonsson <bpj at netg.se>               *
*  Editor, Translator (English <-> Swedish),    *
*  Scholarly font-designer, Web-book designer   *

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list