Western Writing

From: Richard Bourke <richard.bourke_at_bea.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 14:44:34 +0200

 >>Topi Pitkanen asked:
 >>Are some writing systems magical in Glorantha? To which Peter responded:
 >I suspect that writing a
 >statement down can reveal that it is logical or not or whether
 >one outcome is better than another

I like this idea a lot. The matter of what happens in the head of a person reading western seems more fundamental than the "squiggly bits on the page" (Trotsky)

It also suggests a different language analogy than the chinese
(logographic) versus latin(alphabetic) competitors: that of
modern Formal Methods. (Used to specify mathematically the desired behaviour of, typically, a computer system). Anyone out there no more about these than I do ?

I wouldn't push the analogy too far. Western will be used casually by non-mathematicians to compose reports, letters, maybe even Poetry. But the idea of the language carrying a grammatical structure that allows some proof or disproof of the statement being conveyed simply seems necessary, since it is used to write down spells that manipulate entities on the sorcery planes. So a statement like "the cat sat on the mat." written in informal western might, if encountered as a necessary step in a grimoire be written in a much more lengthy format, such as
(modifier to state degree of certainty about the singular
nature of this cat, as against the idea of cats in general) CAT
(modifiers for age, color, mood, exact breed of cat,
potentially recursed into the same modifiers for the cat's parents)
(a more specific compound verb describing the cat's exact
(exact modifiers for the relative positions of cat and mat
related to the space they were in, the angle the floor was at). THE
(same modifier as above)

(adjectives for color, material of mat, modifiers for the
condition of the mat).
- - (full stop)
(mathematical checksum showing, in theory, the sum of all
modifiers in all positions of the sentence.

I mean after all, if it takes 5 Hero Points to advance one point in Read Grimoire, then it has to be pretty difficult !


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