RE: Encode THIS in the PUA

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Thu Jul 04 2002 - 04:57:21 EDT

Doug Ewell wrote:
> The Atlantean alphabet is a little different, though.
> It was not intended to be just another cipher for English, but was
> designed to write the fictional Atlantean language (invented by Marc
> Okrand, who also invented the Klingon language). It has separate
> letters for CH, SH, and TH, which takes it out of the realm
> of straight one-for-one substitution ciphers. And then there's
> the directionality issue. Atlantean is written in boustrophedon
> style.

Hmmm... The Atlantean language (by Okrand) is a nice linguistic
divertissement, but the script (invented by the animation artists) is a very
poor attempt. IMHO, it is also didactically misguiding: kids will think that
all world's writing systems are just glyph variations of their own alphabet.

Atlantean script has the same 26 letters as the English alphabet, and in the
same order. It even includes "c", "f", "j", "q", "v", "x", and "z", which
seem pretty unusable for Atlantean phonology.

On the other hand, Atlantean as long vowels and other sounds ("kh", "kw",
"gw") which don't seem to have a corresponding letter. And two of the three
additional letters, "ch" and "th" seem only used for writing a single word:
"Thatch" (the main character's English surname).

Boustrophedon was chosen by the animators because it "goes like water goes".
They must have misunderstood something that Okrand told them: boustrophedon
goes like an ox ("bous") ploughing a field.

_ Marco

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