Sunday, June 9, 2013

Casual Gallifreyan

Gallifreyan "language" (more of a code for us Earthicans) can be a bit of a challenge, especially to design the more beautiful words, sentences, phrases, and paragraphs we see wandering around the internet. These are lovely, but also difficult to do, especially when working by hand. Take this one for example. It's my name:

It took me about twenty minutes to get a good circle, put in the right letters, and erase the extra lines. It's my name. I know how to write my name, so very little of the time is spent thinking - it's spent making it look pretty. It's a bit like learning cursive in second grade, or learning calligraphy as an adult.
So it seems like the Time Lords must have had some type of shorthand, right? A short hand which allowed them to scribble notes to each other without spending hours desperately sand-blasting their message into the floor of some great hall. 

See image here.
Suppose some Time Lord had to desperately get the above message (I'm a little teapot, short and stout; here is my handle, here is my spout, etc., etc.) to another Time Lord and couldn't go back in time to cross her own timeline... Time Lord problems. You know.

So anyway, casual Gallifreyan - that's where I'm going with this. I started experimenting with a handwriting version of this, and while not as pretty, it's a heck of a lot easier. Unless Time Lords were born with the innate and unbelievable ability to draw perfect circles every time, then scribbly handwriting would probably be written in ovals. On the left are the three words in my name (Ariele Joy Sieling). On the right are the same characters written in ovals.

And no I didn't just take a picture of the page from a weird angle.

But then I began to consider the elements that might make one Time Lord's handwriting different from another's. The little dots, for example - some might just do them as dots, others might have the size change, and they can be placed differently as well - mine tend to be in the middle of the letter, but they could be on either edge. It's just like some people cross their t's low or high, some people dot their i's with circles or hearts, and some write in tiny or big letters.

Here is my name written in four slightly different styles. I'm the only one making the words, so the strokes all look the same, but the dots, tidiness, lines, and shapes are slightly different. With other people writing similar words, it would look completely different: 

I intend to keep experimenting with writing quickly, because I think that is really how handwriting is formulated - practice! Here is vaguely what I think my Gallifreyan signature should look like - a 3/4 moon having a seizure: 

For more practice, I wrote "Doctor" repeatedly: 

And of course, as any good Doctor Who fan would do, I tried to invent a signature for the Doctor using the word "Doctor," since we're not allowed to know what his real name is. Of course it should be as messy as a medical doctor's:

I would really like some nerd at the BBC to teach each of the doctors how to write "doctor" in Gallifreyan - then we could see how his handwriting changes, in addition to his face, outfits, and tardis!

Anyway, I intend to keep working on this - practicing my writing, getting faster and better at full sentences (not just words), and figuring out what shortcuts make it easier to write but not confuse the meaning. Stay tuned.

And send me any of your scribblings and I'll include them in my next post!

1 comment:

  1. Fun idea, but isn't that where this other form comes in? Like the note from 4 in Deadly Assassin?