HandiSkript

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by RockBrown

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Why is it that many of the simplest characters in the world's most common character sets are reserved for rarely used punctuation, etc. Would it not make more sense if these most basic of characters were used for the most commonly needed and frequently used phonemes? What about a phonetic alphabet that groups the simplest of similar morphemes together according to their corresponding phonemes? HandiSkript is exactly that... a fresh new & much simplified phonetic alphabet, built from the ground up using a consistent & logical methodology, that consists of graceful & distinctive glyphs that are designed to be easy & fast to learn, read, type, text, & write… with similar morphemes and phonemes grouped together for easy recognition by the novice or experienced user alike.

HandiSkript includes a complete dozenal numeral symbology that is in keeping with the overall script design philosophy, one of minimalism and simplicity. The numeral system is especially fun and easy to work with because of its intuitively logical design. Perhaps most incredibly, the HandiSkript numeral system can be easily taught & learned in just a few minutes… and the entire HandiSkript alphabet can be learned by the average student in less than a day! That means it is useable almost immediately!

HandiSkript was invented by Rock Brown, and is the evolution of Robert Gregg's Gregg Shorthand, along with something called HandyWrite, invented by Eric Lee in the 1970's. It is a simple & elegant script that may be used both as a shorthand for note taking like the two systems mentioned above, or as a stand-alone, fully functional phonetic alphabet & numeral system. Although designed to be quick to write or type, HandiSkript is not an abbreviated shorthand, but rather a complete alphabet and writing system. And while not as quick to write as a shorthand, it is much more comprehensive, and in many ways, simpler and easier to learn. Because of its simple flowing letters & a direct one-to-one phonetic correspondence of sound, symbol, and meaning, HandiSkript is much easier & faster to write than traditional alphabets from around the world, & can be used as a quick script for journaling, note-taking, or even sending secret messages to cohorts!

Originally designed to be a simple, yet fully functional, script used for a Universal Auxiliary Language, HandiSkript is downloadable for typing and texting, and the series of glyphs have also been designed to maximize optical character recognition by computer software. The philosophy behind HandiSkript is one of minimalism & simplicity. Therefore, HandiSkript does away with the complexity of having to memorize & use redundant capital letters, as these are not necessary to convey meaning.

Consonants are constructed of open, curved shapes. Unvoiced consonants are generally shorter versions of the glyphs used for voiced consonants. If one or more voiced consonants appear alone and without context, as in initials, license plates, etc... diacritic dots may be added for easier recognition. When voiced consonants appear with vowels or other consonants, these diacritic dots are not necessary and are therefore omitted... since the relatively larger scale of the voiced consonants will be obvious.

All glyphs representing consonants generally consist of elliptically curved open shapes and all glyphs representing vowels consist of round closed shapes. All alphabetic glyphs can be written in one stroke without lifting pen or stylus, yet are extremely suitable for type fonts as well. Glyphs representing numerals are straight edged vs. curved. In this manner, all glyphs are easily distinguishable by category, and because of the intuitively logical & sequential manner in which they are formed, they can be easily distinguished from one another by the novice. Yet their minimalist simplicity may also be equally appreciated by the expert writer, linguist, language teacher, or missionary in a foreign land.

HandiSkript consists of a total of 12 vowel glyphs, six long & six short, so that all spoken vowels may be written phonetically with one glyph. As stated above, vowels are represented by circles. The circles are divided into six equal slices. The schwa is represented by the first in the series of vowel glyphs (i.e. with a radial line segment in the six o'clock position dividing the bottom of the circle in half). Subsequent vowels are marked by creating equally sized radial line segments inside the circle or, for long vowels, small circles, attached positionally outside the circle where the corresponding line segments would be inside the larger circle. Each new vowel marker position starts 1/6 the way around the circle in a rotational clockwise fashion from the 1st position, or 6 o'clock position on a standard clock. Each line segment or circle position, represents a unique vowel phoneme, and follows in a rotational clockwise direction around the circle beginning at the first position, or six o'clock position on a standard clock. The first six short vowels are represented by the internal radial line segments, and the last six long vowels are represented by the exterior mini-circles. When consonants stand alone, such as on license plates, or IDs, the open unmarked-circle place holder (same size as the vowels) is used next to them in order to contrast consonant heights, since the relative size of consonants to both vowels and each other is important in distinguishing the voiced from the unvoiced consonants. The idea for the vowel glyphs came from Bill Lauritzen's 'Gravity' numbers. The six short vowels are constructed of closed circles with distinct interior markings, similar to hands on a clock. The six long vowels are formed with small circles attached to the outside of the vowel marker circle in the same positions as the line segments would be for short vowels. Dipthongs can be formed with a combination of vowel markers attached to one circle. A small slash distinguishes the first vowel in the dipthong.

All glyphs representing vowels, consonants, and numbers are easy to memorize & recognize. When typing, all the glyphs appear at the same height on a given line of type. When writing the glyphs by hand, however, the letters that make up a word, at writer discretion, can be connected in an elegant fashion similar to cursive, whereby each glyph begins where the last ends, moving from left to right. This can create interesting word shapes that may freely flow above or below any given line of text.

Since HandiSkript is a complete phonetic alphabet, glyphs for Consonant sounds have been necessarily added for the two |th| sounds (e.g. the & think), as well as |sh| (e.g. she) & |zhe| (e.g. pleasure). Each different sound is represented by just one corresponding glyph. This makes spelling errors a thing of the past! The letters q, j, & c are not used as in English and are replaced by |k-w| (e.g. quick), |d-zh| (e.g. judge), & k (e.g. corner), respectively.

The unique duodecimal numerals of the HandiSkript system were also designed by Rock Brown to be extremely simple & intuitive. The classification type of this number system is identified by the Dozenal Society of America as a Separate Identity, Improvised, Rationalized, Indexed Value Symbology, with inspiration from Bruce Martin & D. Vlieger’s ‘Acylin’. The Handiskript numeral symbology consists of logically ordered line segments representing powers of two, combined with symbols for multiples of three and four. Each numeral glyph has built in symbolism consisting of components that, when added together, identify the number it represents from 0 through 11. All odd numbers have a horizontal line segment on the bottom. See if you can observe any patterns and clues to figure out how it works!

The HandiSkript system was invented by Rock Brown who, after an exhaustive study of the world’s existing scripts -both in and out of current use, determined that the vast majority of them were unneccessarily arbitrary & complex, creating a burden to the both the student and user. The less complex ones were not comprehensive enough to offer a way to represent a minimum desired number of sounds in a one to one correspondence. He realized that a better, more intuitive, and logically derived system, or featural system, could be produced, and he completed that system, HandiSkript, in 2012, upon deciding that a variation of a simple & logically derived shorthand was the closest to ideal.

The featural elements of Hangul, a contribution from the dynasty of Emporer Sejong of Korea, along with elements of Bell’s Visible Speech & George Kingsley Reed’s Shavian & Quickscript made a big impact. The criteria set by Rock Brown for the new script were that it be simple, fast, easy to write & learn, logical, featural, easy to differentiate characters, capable of being written by hand or typed, & capable of OCR for machine use. Much credit is given to Robert Gregg for his creation of flowing, sequential, phonetic, elliptical patterns, & Eric Lee for fine-tuning Gregg Shorthand into an even more complete writing system through the invention of Handywrite, which is applicable to everyday handwriting use. Also, credit must be given to Bruce Martin & D. Vlieger for their innovative contributions to duodecimal number symbologies. All of these works have been inspirational in the creation of the series of the HandiSkript glyphs.

Punctuation may take the form of the commonly used symbols in use throughout the world, as long as these remain easily distinguishable from the HandiSkript Characters.

HandiSkript was intended for writing the Universal Language of a fictional culture which, thus far, only resides in the mind of Rock Brown.

Info: Created on 29th January 2014 . Last edited on 14th January 2015.
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4 Comments

Short hand! brilliant! maybe I'll have to make one for the version of shorthand I use!
Comment by OsyenVyeter 10th February 2014
This is one of the most fantastic & useful ideas I've ever come across! I will be sure to practice & use it often, as well as share it with my friends! Bravo!
Comment by KailaBrown 10th March 2014

is there a character map somewhere? how do you use it?

Comment by tsafontstruct 19th January 2019

I downloaded the signs but now I need the sounds attached to each of them.

Cxu iu povas doni al mi iliaj signifojn ?

Comment by jpkanin Tue, 11th February

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