In defense of the visual alphabet
My good friend and colleague Christina Wodtke has recently suggested:
“ There is no visual alphabet.”
Like any parent, I feel I must defend my child, or at the very least, assure that it gets a fair trial.
The Roman alphabet is a standard that evolved over thousands of years and is still far from universal. By the time the alphabet was “invented” by the Greeks it had already been evolving for a couple of thousand years. It was derived from the Phonecians, who in turn derived their “alphabet” from Egyptian hieroglyphics. When the Greek alphabet was…
I guess I never told you the story. It was not created in a bar on a cocktail napkin. It was something I thought long and hard about and I’m glad it feels so simple to you, because it was designed to be simple. But just because something is simple does not mean it was easy.