John F. Lindner

Shavian Alphabet

Shavian is arguably a (much) better English alphabet created in the mid twentieth century by Kingsley Read in a competition funded by the will of Nobel-Prize-winning Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. The 48 letters uniquely represent 48 English sounds. The letters can be drawn with single gestures and are rotations or reflections or compounds of companion letters. Often the shapes of the letters suggest their pronunciations; for example, most unvoiced letters are “tall” and their voiced counterparts are “deep”. Different letter pronunciations can accommodate different English accents with the same spelling. Shavian has no cursive and no capital letters, but a leading center dot denotes proper names.

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