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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Birth of Bliss Symbolics - Thanks Radiolab

Idealized languages in the news: Two stories this week

What a good listen! The Radiolab podcast brings you fantastic stories about all sorts of fascinating things (see our previous post on Radiolab's episode called Words). Their podcast this week explored stories of BLISS.  Among other stories, it includes the genesis of Bliss Symbols (read more HERE or HERE). It is an amazing reveal and poses a bizarre conundrum. I hope you that use Boardmaker Picture Communication Symbols or Symbol Stix might find an hour+ this holiday season to give a listen to this intriguing episode that touches on the early days of symbol-based communication.  Wow!

Listen to "Bliss" HERE, via Radiolab.

Read more about Charles K. Bliss on Wikipedia, HERE. There was a book, Mr. Symbol Man, published in 1975 that just now made it onto my Christmas List (if you're reading this, Santa. It's out of print and may require some pulling of strings...). Radiolab thanks National Film and Sound Archive of Australia for use of audio from the documentary Mr. Symbol Man, by Bob Kingsbury (1974). Let me know if you find out how to view this film or get a copy of this book. Fascinating story!

Another language-y story this week, "Utopian for Beginners," from the Annals of Linguistics via the New Yorker is in the Dec 24 & 31 issue (read it online, HERE) explores one idealistic, amateur linguist's invented language, a la Esperanto, called Ithkuil. Great reading!

Happy Holidays! Felicxa Ferio!

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