Sunday, April 26, 2020

What is an Alphabet?

We’ve looked at several writing systems in this blog series, but not all of them are true alphabets.  An alphabet is any set of symbols, or letters, set in a fixed order, and used to represent both the consonant (hard stops) and vowel (soft breaths of air) sounds of a language.  For instance, our Roman Alphabet with it’s twenty-six letters set in its a•b•c•d•e•f•g•h•i•j•k•l•m•n•o•p•q•r•s•t•u•v•w•x•y•z order.  Each letter represents a phoneme, a small unit of sound.  Each letter then becomes a grapheme, or the smallest written symbol for a phoneme.

An alphabet is a most useful technology.  It allows us to communicate over great distances and even very long periods of time through our writing.  Historical records and scientific discoveries can be written down for future generations of people to study and learn.  Family stories, names, dates, and other important data can be preserved.  Journals are kept to remember our most special moments.  There is a tremendous amount of information and ideas shared through the means of an alphabet.  People from distant parts of the world and very different cultures can learn about one another.  We may never know who the first inventor of a writing system was, but we do know the concept of an alphabet greatly affected people and civilizations everywhere.  

The Vimala Alphabet order differs from the familiar A•B•C order.  Instead, the letters are organized by the qualities that mark our own unfolding abilities that we acquire as we grow and mature.  From our natural “baby” self, full of curiosity and movement, to our older contented self of having accomplished much, the letters work and play together just like people do. 

As movement is mastered, the pen forms familiar shapes that represent small units of sound.  These small units of sound, or phonemes, become graphemes, or letters.  Our Roman Alphabet Letters are full of movement.  There are lines and curves and angles in the different letters.  Joining letters together, we make words that tell a story or communicate something.  The Vimala Alphabet, a handwriting system that is very fun to write.  It’s casual and simple with a basis in Sacred Geometry.

©Susan Govorko 2020

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What is Handwriting?

What is Handwriting?  


Typically, we form Alphabet letters with a handheld pen, but anything written by mouth or foot, with a brush or stylus or whatever, is still considered handwriting.  Handwriting is like a voice.  Rather than floating as sound waves across a room, our words flow visually onto a page.  And, just as the same words can be said in different tones that imply very different meanings, so too does each person’s handwriting reflect a very different voice (personality).  All the ways we choose to communicate say something about our patterns of thinking. 

Some people have learned to read “body language”.  How a person stands or sits when listening or speaking may indicate if they agree with what’s being said or if they are speaking honestly.  Handwriting is very much like body language on paper!  Our letters move along the page, leaning forward into the next word, or cautiously inching across a line with dogged steps.  Sometimes we write with happy garland smiles or pointy eyebrow frowns.  Often you will hear adults telling kids to sit up straight, stand tall, keep a good posture.  They know how important good posture is to health and to social acceptance.  Healthy handwriting is just as important and so much more fun!

Looking at how people write their thoughts on paper gives us great clues into their intentions too.  Have you ever noticed how hard you press on your pen or pencil when writing while you are angry?  That’s a clue as to how much feeling you are putting into those words and thoughts on paper.  How you form your letters when you write gives more clues.  And, even more clues can be detected from how fast or slow you are writing, and how much space you give your letters, lines, and margins.  The page represents our space in the world.  How we choose to fill up that space, how we move into and across it, and what forms we draw on it are all symbols of what we think we are in our own world.

©Susan Govorko 2009-2020

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