Re: Shorthand (Re: Camion Code

From: JoAnne Marie (
Date: Thu Aug 19 1999 - 20:52:19 EDT

>What the world needs is more Gregg! Gosh, I wonder if ISO could
>mandate Gregg worldwide. I can see the headlines now: "Microsoft, IBM,
Sun team
>up to support UniGregg; World Peace Achieved!"

Until I noticed the signature - I wondered why such *enthusiasm*! :-)

>... how would Camion help a Japanese speaker handle English l/r?

I did think that the 'visual cues' (of CC) might help.

> Or an English speaker handle the "thin/thick" consonant pairs of Arabic?

I guess I'd need to *hear* an example; English (American, west coast...) is
my 'mother tongue' and I had 2 years of French in high school and have
lived in Paris for 20 years, but don't *know* any other languages. As I'd
hoped I'd said, I see the 'first' use of the Camion Code to represent
English (and yes, Adam (and Andrea), one could write it in any 'variety'
they choose, or possibly decide to *write* in RP, whether or not that's
what they speak!) - both for fast, 'easy' input, or, as you (Gregg) say, to
help foreign learners. I leave it entirely to experts and/or users of
other languages (French, Japanese, Arabic, or Sanscrit!) to see whether
(and how) CC might be useful (possibly for the same reasons) in their
language - *I* am certainly not attempting to *impose* anything on anyone,
merely to propose a simplified 'spelling' system which does, yes, 'strip
away' the etymology which is (I hear/fear the flames of wrath here)
*unnecessary* in ordinary daily usage! (and makes writing considerably more
'tedious'). One can always transcribe (via software - which is why the CC
needs a binary code - its 'no skin off my nose' (I hope) if its not
'Unicode') the 'speedily written' CC - and the same argument holds for the
'ancient literature' debate.

> I don't think distinctive features are the neutral, objective
>things that the Camion seems to be based on. And speakers of a language
>naturally classify its sounds based on articulatory phonetics, or even on
>auditory phonetics

I could be wrong but I do believe that it is just this sort of 'mapping'
that occurs in the brain/mind of young children when learning their 'mother
tongue' - and perhaps for this very reason, CC might best be adapted to
such very young learners. If at some later stage they'd like to explore
the rich history (possibly even 'epistomology') contained in the etymology
- they are so much the richer, but we are presently 'condemning' large
numbers of 'native English speakers' to 'functional illiteracy' by
'cleaving to' the out-dated mishmash which is 'traditional English

>Besides, doesn't Sanskrit have much of this ground covered?

No idea - sorry.

>On the other hand, for specific languages it might be interesting,
especially if
>you can come up with some software.

I'm working on it (struggling!) - I have an 'image map' of a 'simulated
writing device' and I'm trying to learn the programming (JavaScript...?) to
display the 'gif-glyph' (and sound file) at the MouseOver 'event'... Any
offers of help would be very greatly appreciated!!!

> I can imagine something like this being very useful for learners of a
second language, at least in the early stages.

Me too.

>Yours in Greggness,

Cute ;-)

JoAnne Marie,
CV, Phonetics and Poetry on:

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