Title:  In Regard to Moon
To:UTC, for information only
From:  Jack Maartman via Rick McGowan
Date:February 8, 2002

This is a raised script used by a small user community in Great Britain. The 26 letters of the alphabet are represented by raised glyphs whose shapes deviate from ordinary letters putatively for ease of reading. However the system uses single signs for a limited number of contractions as well as guide lines that resemble parentheses although not quite so curved.

Until the advent of the system being generated by computer the lines were written alternately in opposite directions the curved lines serving to guide the finger from one line to the next. The characters on the lines read from right to left are not mirror images of the line above them, but rather the finger traces the words as if they were written in reverse.

In addition the system employs a small number of symbols that stand for common letter groups and symbols representing a single word. I have forgotten how numbers are treated. I learned the system and could read it slowly and even though I haven't used it for years could probably recognize most of the symbols.

It seems to me, because of the use of contracted words and letter groups and the "guide lines" that it might not be considered a variant of the Roman alphabet. Even though computerized moon is always read from left to right the majority of extant books are written with lines of text alternating in both directions.

It would be interesting to see whether Unicode would consider it and assign it a range.

I looked in vain for a text in Moon to send you but must have scrapped the last of them during my many moves.

The Royal National Institute for the blind is the last producer of Moon texts.

Historically there were a number of raised scripts some of them punctiform in use before Braille gained the ascendancy.

This information might be more detailed than the material I sent you from the RNIB.

It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this. If I manage to acquire some Moon, I will send it along. The symbols themselves are much higher than Braille dots and the system can only be written on one side of the page making the books bulkier than Braille. Nevertheless it is widely read by older blind persons in England. It is not used at all on this continent.