Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Bibliography on Alphabets and Writing Systems

(Please also see my comments on “Scriptology“) Also sections near the bottom on: codes the history of numbers lettering, typography, calligraphy literacy Mayan Adkins, Lesley & Roy. (2000). The keys of Egypt: The obsession to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs. New York: HarperCollins. Aguirre, Manuel. (1961). La escritura en el mundo. Madrid: Libreria Reliex. (mongol, semphore, berber, p 123, […]


I am a bibliophiliac, a mild addict, not so much in the sense of seeking collections per se, but really interested in what the books say in certain fields. This New Yorker cover describes my living room, not to speak of several other rooms with many bookcases. I realized that not many people have this […]

E-Journals: The Coming Thing

I  received an email from a friend in Turkey—the country—they spell it Turkiye —where they write in Roman letters—about their e-journal. This reminded me of  the idea of an  e-journal itself, which may easily outstrip the idea of the printed journal within a decade. In some ways, I regret this, because I was a "book-hound" […]

FOMO Comments

This came across my “desk” in the mail, and I mostly agree: Have you heard the acronym FOMO?  It stands for “Fear of Missing Out,” and a popular hashtag. Personally, I’m not sure I ever experienced FOMO, even in my younger years, but I know now, with age, I feel entirely justified in my lack […]

Letter-Forms as Art

By no means am I the only one who plays with the root forms of alphabets and the like as potential forms of art. I’ve been seriously interested in what I call “scriptology,” and also playfully interested, insofar as the making of writing is an art form in several cultures. It has become more so […]

Phonemic Expansion

A phoneme is a unit of spoken language, such as vowels and consonants. But there are consonants in English that don’t exist in other languages, such as the mixed sound of th as in “think”—which tends to be difficult for some folks in other countries. It tends to be pronounced as a soft d, “t’ink.” […]

Postage and Online Journals

I received a link to a foreign e-journal—it’s in Roman type as well as in the foreign language. But the point is that I am impressed with the idea of an e-journal itself, which may easily outstrip the idea of the printed journal within a decade. In some ways I regret this, because I was […]

Roman Numerals??

In the Newsweek of 2/14/11, that issue under the table of contents says, Volume CLVII, No. 7. I was struck by the idea that this re-modeled up-to-date newsmagazine was still using Roman Numerals. I wonder what their rationale is? I mean, Roman numeration  didn’t even know about the value of the zero! (The zero in […]

Scriptology Notes (about Alphabets and Writing Systems)

Also: see Bibliography on Scriptology Aspects of Scriptology The History of Writing in General: The history and rich cultural lore of specific writing systems and languages Contemporary political influences in changing writing systems Ancient Writing: Decipherment, Archaeology The Evolution of Specific Developments in Writing: Numbers, Punctuation, Standardized Forms, Direction of writing., Calligraphy, Typography Writing Materials: […]

Scriptology: Further Considerations

The last few weeks I’ve been caught up in other projects and I realized I hadn’t been posting much. One of my projects soon to be posted on my website is a lecture series with many illustrations about scriptology—the lore of alphabets and writing systems. My point, summarizing, is that the field represents a truly […]

Scriptology: The Lore of Alphabets and Writing Systems Introduction and Overview (Lecture 1)

(This is the first part of the first lecture—an introductory overview. See also: Very Early History of Writing The Early History of Writing Mid-History of Writing Further Developments (Typography, Calligraphy, etc.) Invented Writing Systems Codes and Playing with Alphabets Summary and Further Considerations Note also, written several years earlier, an overall introduction to Scriptology elsewhere on my website, […]

Shifting Gestalts

This piece came to me in the email and it adds to my interest in scriptology, my name for the general field of writing itself, alphabets, including the art and play as well as linguistics and history of writing: F1gur471v31y 5p34k1ng?  Good example of a Brain Study.   If you can read this you have […]

The Lore of Scriptology: Summary & Reflections (Lecture 6a, Part 2)

Previous articles from this lecture include: Scriptology: The Lore of Alphabets and Writing Systems Introduction and Overview (Lecture 1) The main point I want to make is that writing is a tool, an invention that transcends any particular field—truly inter-disciplinary. Gelb called this “Grammatology” but a postmodernist philosopher, Jacques Derrida, has also used that term […]

The Power of Power-Point (Good and Bad)

My friend Ed sent me an article almost a year ago about the power of image (specifically Microsoft’s Power Point Presentations) to manipulate and possibly distort reality. It reminded him that back during the Vietnam War, there was a similar thing: The Generals in the field used to show maps painted colors suggesting who was […]

The Roots of My Interest in Scriptology

I’ve been making a series of presentations about scriptology, the very inter-disciplinary not-yet-officially formed field that deals with writing and associated technologies. It has been a sort of hobby of mine since the early 1970s, though I now realize that I’d been somewhat sensitized to the whole enterprise through a number of blessings (as I […]

Translation Feature

The internet and technology in general continues to be mind-stretching. I asked about a new feature, the ability to insert automatic translations, and my son was able to insert this “app” or feature. I am astonished and grateful, as well as curious. What means this? It motivates me to import more papers onto the blog, […]

Words That Have No English Equivalents

I’ve encountered several books that recognize that other languages have words for which there are no English equivalents: (1) Ella Frances Sanders’ “Lost in Translation”; The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacob de Boinod; and Howard Rhinegold’s They Have a Word for It. In noting this I just found two others: C. J. Moore’s “In […]

Write It Up

As you might gather, I write easily and for fun, while many others find this daunting. I also advocate for the values offered by this medium—i.e., setting down in a stored form what you have learned. For some this is obvious, yet there are many who do, who act, who are involved in non-literate ways. […]

Writing Systems (Autobiographic Notes)

(I’m putting this in autobiographical notes as well as scriptology): Why am I interested in this aspect of culture? Here are some more personal reflections. I always knew there was something special about writing. (Not the contents of literature, novels, articles for magazines, poetry. Well, some interest, but what I am referring to is the […]