Friday, 13 June 2014

211-21-1111-1211


As it is friday I will continue the tradition of covering a more eccentric topic.

              Regular blog readers will know that I am fond of Kephart's book "Camping and Woodcraft". At the same time I acquired my copy I also acquired another great book:- “Jackknife Cookery” by James Austin Wilder. The first part is about cooking while later sections divert into tips on camping, scouting, self-reliance and survival. The book is a little gem so if you encounter a copy buy it!

On page 167 the author describes an alternative to Morse code which he claims is easier to remember. Once you understand the principle you can sit down and write it out in a few minutes. The author makes no claims that this is his own invention so its origin is unknown.

 The alphabet is written down in four columns of seven letters. As an aide memoire the first row is AHOV -which looks like "ahoy". Last line is GNU, like the animal. DKRY looks a bit like “Dictionary” spelt wrong.

Once you have this matrix you then number the letters from 11 to 2222 using only 1s and 2s.




A

11

 

H

12

O

21

V

22

B

111

I

112

P

121

W

122

 

C

211

J

212

Q

221

X

222

 

D

1111

K

1112

R

1121

Y

1122

 

E

1211

L

1212

S

1221

Z

1222

 

F

2111

M

2112

T

2121

&

2122

 

G

2211

N

2212

U

2221

the

2222

 

  
         










 


 
   


















           Skinny 1s represent dots, fatter 2s represent dashes. If signalling with a flag then “Dot is Right!” (She is that sort of woman). Wilder does not say if this is the signaler’s or the observer’s right, however. (People need to use Port and Starboard more in everyday speech!).

            S.O.S would therefore be : “.--. -. .--.”

            Obviously this code has its drawbacks, the most obvious being that virtually no one will be familiar with it! Many of the most commonly used letters use four characters while less used ones use less, so an alternate arrangement could be constructed.

            A friend of mine has a love of alternate writing systems and the like, so this blog is for him. This signaling code is an interesting idea and deserves being recorded somewhere on the internet.