Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Writing systems vs. writing technologies

This clever Worth1000 entry to the Vintage Products 4 contest by Gene got me thinking about the relationship between writing systems and whether/how they fit with various writing technologies. One phenomenon I need to learn more about is how various languages map to keyboards. I'm shooting blind here, but I suspect the design of our modern keyboards pretty heavily favors languages using the Latin alphabet (and let's sidestep the QWERTY/Dvorak/etc. debate for now). But how does the Cyrillic alphabet map to keyboards? And the Chinese language family or Arabic? And how about for phone-texting interfaces? (Which, let's face it, are pretty much crap for whatever language you speak/write -- well except for the language of texting which evolved in response to the interface.) Yes, I could look up the answers to these many questions, but mostly I wanted to post this funny picture.

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