Re: The History of the Alphabet (long)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 6 Oct 1997 23:01:21 -0700 (PDT)

> Which simply illustrates the unexpected benefits which may come from
> diversity, and perhaps cautions us against hasty standardization.
> Mnemosyne and Qwerty help us if the world had quickly adopted Chinese
> logographs.

Frankly, I think Chinese logographs would have served us well. It is
actually a much more efficient system for printing, reading, and even
writing: there are, on average, fewer penstrokes per Chinese word
than per English word. They also survive the centuries better, not
being subject to phonetic drift (peasants from opposite sides of China
who would strain to understand each other's speech--if they could
manage at all--can both read Lau-Tsu with ease, while students today
have difficulty with Shakespeare, and most don't even attempt Chaucer).

The only disadvantage to logographs is longer learning time. I think
that's a minor nuisance, really, for all its benefits. In the computer
age, storage would be more efficient, but a manual input device would
be trickier, so that's a downside I suppose. We might have been forced
to develop higher-resolution displays sooner, too!

...At 1152 x 864 and still not satisfied,

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC