Re: Camion Code, new phonemic writing system

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Aug 18 1999 - 20:58:27 EDT

JoAnne wrote:

> Hello all, I joined the list about a week ago and this is my first posting.
> I have included below a 'broadly targeted' text explaining why I am
> proposing a new (non-alphabetic!) form of writing (description on my web
> site - in 'signature'). This system (the Camion Code) would extract Patrik
> (and others) from the clutches of the 'castrated ram', and Eric, his (P.S.)
> 'least' for 'lest'. Any feedback (wild enthusiasm preferred ;-),
> suggestions, or help! would be greatly appreciated - particularly with
> regard to preparing binary coding suitable for submission to Unicode (? -
> recent postings have left me a bit confused as to 'standards bodies'...).
> I'll be happy to answer any questions or supply further elements on
> request. Thank you. JoAnne ('An American in Paris')

Well, I'm sorry to say that you won't be able to count me among the
wildly enthusiastic. I would suggest that you study the long, sad
history of English spelling reform. It is not for want of logically
constructed, phonetic (or phonemic) alternatives that English has
stubbornly maintained its spellings -- only gradually yielding in
nooks and crannies, very slowly, as new words come in and old ones

But as regards the standardization question: proposed de novo writing
systems, whether they be reformist, personal, artistic, or cryptographical
in nature, are generally not appropriate candidates for standardization.
Writing systems must show some actual success and use, to the point where
there is clear evidence of publication and interchange of data in those
writing systems, before it makes sense for standards organizations to
attempt to provide standard character encodings for them. Character
encoding standards are not used to provide standard encodings for
reformist systems, on the hope that people will then take up and use
what has been provided in the character encoding, throwing over current
practice. Character encoding standards are, instead, intended for the
standardization of existing practice in existing writing systems, to
facilitate standard interchange.

So you've got the cart before the horse. *If* a significant number of
people take up the Camion Code and start using it in publication and
text interchange, instead of the Latin alphabet, *then* there would be
a case to consider for standardization in a character encoding.

--Ken Whistler

> Camion Code description at:

The correct URL is:

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