**Meaning in Characterie** # The Meaning of Characters As we've seen before, individual characters stand for words in Characterie. However, it will go somewhat beyond that. Let's learn a few new vocabulary words, and then talk through those subtle points. ## Additional Vocabulary I'm going to slightly extend our vocabulary of characterical words again for this section. After this, I recommend spending some time in the [dictionary](dictionary.md.html) to become familiar with all the characterical words, as it will be helpful in future sections to be able to reference the full list of characterical words. For this section, we will keep it pretty light. ![accept](./dictionary/accept.svg) ![am](./dictionary/am.svg) ![beat](./dictionary/beat.svg) ![before](./dictionary/before.svg) ![cause](./dictionary/cause.svg) ![certain](./dictionary/certain.svg) ![deprive](./dictionary/deprive.svg) ![deputy](./dictionary/deputy.svg) ![escape](./dictionary/escape.svg) ![ever](./dictionary/ever.svg) ![friend](./dictionary/friend.svg) ![fight](./dictionary/fight.svg) ![glory](./dictionary/glory.svg) ![go](./dictionary/go.svg) ![heat](./dictionary/heat.svg) ![have](./dictionary/have.svg) ![innocent](./dictionary/innocent.svg) ![inquire](./dictionary/inquire.svg) ![last](./dictionary/last.svg) ![late](./dictionary/late.svg) ![mixed](./dictionary/mixed.svg) ![metal](./dictionary/metal.svg) ![nonetheless](./dictionary/nonetheless.svg) ![neighbor](./dictionary/neighbor.svg) ![offer](./dictionary/offer.svg) ![oft](./dictionary/oft.svg) ![prince](./dictionary/prince.svg) ![promise](./dictionary/promise.svg) ![race](./dictionary/race.svg) ![reign](./dictionary/reign.svg) ![stay](./dictionary/stay.svg) ![start](./dictionary/start.svg) ![tempest](./dictionary/tempest.svg) ![thank](./dictionary/thank.svg) ![use](./dictionary/use.svg) ![will](./dictionary/will.svg) ## The Full Meaning of a Character These characters, as discussed before, stand for individual words. However, there is one small subtle point: *homophones*---words which sound the same. In Characterie, a single character stands for not only the single word, but also for all homophones of that one word. Take a look at the additional vocabulary above, and consider the word *reign* (the period that a monarch rules a country). This should not be taken to only stand for this word, but also to stand for *rain* (water that falls from the sky) and *rein* (the rope used to guide a horse). Moreover it stands for both the noun form (The *rain* fell from the sky.) and the verb for (Water *rained* down on us). In reality, it is likely a little better to think of a character as representing not a word, but instead a sound, and then to all words associated to that sound. We will see later on this page that this creates many extra subtle points in how words are represented. # Accompanied Meaning Words are given meaning in Characterie by having the word appear on: 1. the list of particles, 2. the list of characterical words, or, most likely, 3. being the associated meaning of one of the characterical words. This third case is done by either taking words with similar or related meanings, giving *consenting accompanied meanings*, or by taking a word which is in clear opposition giving *dissenting accompanied meanings*. ## Consenting ### Core Concepts Consenting meanings occur when the word you are trying to express shares a commonality to an existing characterical word. The simplest way this can happen is if you have a word with similar meaning. Suppose you want to write the word *tardy*. This is not a characterical word, however the word *late* is. Thus, we will want to write *tardy* by the relationship it has with *late*. As was done in the [Principles of Characterie](./principles2.md.html) section, we will do so by writing the letter *t* to the left of the word *late*. The same can be done for other synonyms like *delay*. We need only use the symbols we learned in the previous section. ![The words, "late," "tardy," and "delay."](./meanings/lates.svg) In this case, they are rather close synonyms, but this does not need to be the case. For instance, in the original manual, Timothy Bright recommends that *mouth* is written by its relationship with *feed* which is not even the same part of speech. The associated meanings should be thought of as being somewhat informal and as a memory aid. This makes Characterie somewhat difficulty to read back if you were either not the original author, or if a long period of time has passed. However, it does make it a fun and flexible system. A second type of consenting meaning is the case where the word to be expressed is a subtype of characterical word. An excellent example is that of the word *metal*. There are many types of metal like *lead*, *silver*, and *gold*, and these are written like *lmetal*, *smetal*, and *gmetal* respectively. ![The words, "metal," "lead," "silver," and "gold."](./meanings/metals.svg) Note: these accompanied meanings can combine with the fact that the characters represent sounds, and hence potentially multiple words. So, if you wanted to represent *sleet*, you would likely want to represent that by relationship to *rain*. However, *rain* then has the same sound as *reign*, which is a Characterical word. ![The word, "sleet," represented as "sreign."](./meanings/sleet.svg) ### Handling Ambiguity These rules handle most cases, however sometimes there is additional ambiguity that needs to be taken care of. For instance, in the modern world, perhaps *steel* is a more common metal to consider instead of *silver*, or you need to write a sentence that contains both. The way this is disambiguated is by writing two letters connected to each other the same way they are in proper nouns (with the second rotated upside-down and attached on the bottom). In particular the rule is: write the *first* letter, and then the *first letter that differentiates them*. This can be a little tricky, but in the case of *silver* and *steel* they would be *si* and *st*. ![The words, "silver," and "steel."](./meanings/steel.svg) It is similar for the words *battle* and *brawl* which both derive from *fight*. ![The words, "fight", "battle," and "brawl."](./meanings/fights.svg) Where it becomes more complex are cases where the overlap is longer like with *flight* and *flee* both being viewed as deriving from *escape*. In this case both *f* and *l* are the same, so the first letter where they differ is in the third position where *flight* has an *i* and *flee* has an *e*, so they are *fiescape* and *feescape* respectively. ![The words, "escape", "flight," and "flee."](./meanings/escape.svg) This can continue even longer with cases like *tornado* and *torrential* deriving from *tempest*, which only starts differing in the fourth position, leading to *tntempest* and *trtempest* respectively. ![The words, "tempest", "tornado," and "torrential."](./meanings/tempests.svg) Notice that with some of these it can actually be a bit challenging to tell which is the central character, and which is the pair of letters. In contexts, these words will be stacked vertically with the characterical words all aligned. This helps keep it clear. Finally, this same technique is needed if you are deriving a word from Characterical word that starts with the same initial letter. For instance, if you wish to express *wave* by deriving it from the Characterical word *water*, it is not likely helpful to express it as the word that starts with *w*, and has consenting meaning with *water*. It is rather more useful to express it with the pair of letters *wv* with consenting meaning with *water*. ![The words, "water", and "wave."](./meanings/wave.svg) Given the complexity of many of the characters, such as *w* above, it may be often best to consider alternative representations altogether, perhaps deriving from another word like *move*. !!!
**Historical Divergence.** This last paragraph is not contained in the original text, but appeared as a necessity when working on the table of English words. Without it, there was often too high of degree of ambiguity to believe that it could be accurately read back.
## Dissenting In addition to consenting meanings, Characterie also allows for *dissenting* meanings, that is describing words by marking them as being in opposition to existing Characterical word. This can be very subtle, but it adds a lot of capability. To continuing with the ongoing example of weather related terms. Let's take the word *drought*, and see how to represent it. The key observation is the simple one: a *drought* is a lack of *rain*, thus the word *drought* has dissenting meaning to *rain*. The word *rain* is written as *reign*, and so we mark the dissenting meaning by putting the letter *d* on the right of *reign* as *reignd* or in characters: ![The characters for: "reign," and "drought."](./meanings/drought.svg) All of the same methods for resolving ambiguity apply in this case, so if you are asked to represent both *peasant* and *pauper* by dissenting meaning to *prince*, then you can disambiguate this with the letters *pe* and *pa*. ![The characters for: "prince," "peasant," and "pauper."](./meanings/pauper.svg) ### Pure Negation If you want to express exactly the negation of a word, that is to say you want to express *not certain* instead of *uncertain* or *not mine* instead of *yours*, there is a simplified notation: write a slash through the body of the character. ![The characters for: "certain," "uncertain," and "not certain"](./meanings/certain.svg) ![The characters for: "mine," "yours," and "not mine"](./meanings/mine.svg) The word *not* should be read int the proper place for the word being negated. So if you are negating a word like *can* or *will*, you should read the negation as *cannot* and *will not*. ![The characters for: "can," "will," "cannot," and "will not"](./meanings/cannot.svg) # Derived words Given this root vocabulary, we will also need to derive other words from the roots. For instance, given the word *rain*, we need a way of expressing *rained* and *raining*. In Characterie, there are a variety of ways of adding dots and other (typically) small marks to express these changes. ## In general Whenever possible, one overarching rule covers everything: don't write anything to mark a derived word unless you have to. Take for example the sentence:
It rained yesterday; it will rain tomorrow; it always rains.
If I instead simply write the words with their roots, there is no loss in meaning:
It rain yesterday; it will rain tomorrow; it always rain.
Whenever this is the case, don't write anything besides the root words! Throughout this book, I will over-emphasize the use of derived words to make sure you internalize the rules, but you should always fall back on writing less when you can. !!!
**Additional Historical Options.** If you look at historical examples, you see even more flexibility used here. In particular, in Jane Seager's work you see the dot being added ot the right hand side to represent essentially *any* derivative. For instance, you see it being used for *-ly* or really any other ending. This method has it's merits, since it is often clear from context what is meant anyway, so this dot is just a quick additional memory aid.
### The ending *-er* For any word obtained by adding *-er* to the end of a root word, we add double dots to the right hand side of the character. ![The words "defend," versus "defender."]("./meanings/defender.svg") This can also be used to add *-ist* or other similar endings to a word to indicate that it is a person associated to a word like *science* to *scientist*. !!!
**Historical Divergence.** This last sentence about *-ist* is not, to the best of my knowledge, contained in any contemporary text, however I found it necessary to include it in order to make a sensible dictionary of modern words like *biologist*.
### The ending *-ship* or *-hood* For words that end in *-ship*, we write the character for *ship* after the word. ![The words "friend," versus "friendship."]("./meanings/friendship.svg") For words like *neighborhood* that end in *-hood*, we write our word, followed again by the character for *ship*. Which ending is meant is clear from context. ![The words "neighbor," versus "neighborhood."]("./meanings/neighborhood.svg") ## Possessives If you want to represent a possessive, like changing the word *he* to *his*, you simply add a dot to the left of the word. ![The words "he," versus "his."]("./meanings/he_his.svg") ## Numbers for Nouns Characterie allows for modifications for nouns to allow for them to change the associate number (singular versus plural). Often times, the number associated is unambiguous from context, and in such a case, it should not be recorded. However, to encode number of a noun, you can add a dot after the noun to mark it as plural. ![The words "man," versus "men."]("./meanings/men.svg") This can also be used generically to add *-s* to a word if it is not fully clear from context. !!!
**Historical Divergence.** Again, this dot is used more freely in practice than is indicated by the manual. I've included this explicitly above by including that it is generically a way to add a *-s* to a word despite this not being explicit in the text.
## For Verbs Characterie allows for a few verb-specific ways to modify the written character to express different tenses, or to render the verb into another part of speech. ### The ending *-ing* If you want to add the ending *-ing* to a word, you may do so by adding double dots below the word (note: a single dot would be ambiguous as that could be confused with a pause in speech). ![The words "heat," versus "heating."]("./meanings/heating.svg") ### Past Tense The past tense is represented by placing a dot of the left hand side of the verb. ![The words "thank," versus "thanked."]("./meanings/thanked.svg") The same is true for helper verbs like *have* which can be transformed to *had* with a dot on the left, do *do* which can be converted to *did* with a dot on the left hand side. In this case, the dot does not need to be added to the second verb. ![The phrases "use," "used," "had used," "did use," and "was using."]("./meanings/had_used.svg") ### Future Tense When expressing the future, you can place a dot on the right hand side of the verb. !["I leave Friday."](./meanings/future.svg) If it is expressed using words like *will* or *going to*, write those phrases instead, leaving it to context. !["I will leave Friday."](./meanings/will_leave.svg) !["I am going to leave Friday."](./meanings/going_to.svg) ## Adjectives of Comparison When comparing things with words like *good*, *better*, and *best*, the distinction between those words is often not important to make. For instance consider these two sentences: 1. "This car is ______ than the other one." 2. "This ice cream is ______ but that one is the ______." You likely could guess that these three blanks should be filled in with "better", "good", and "best". Thus, for both of these sentences we would fill in the word *good* in Characterie, leaving the distinction up to grammatical context. ## Compound words In general, any compound word may be split apart if it helps to express the word more freely. For instance, the word *everlasting* can be expressed in many ways, such as via consenting meaning with *continue* or the word *ever* itself. However, likely the clearest way to express this concept is to simply split it into *ever last-ing* and write those two characters separately. ![The word "everlasting" expressed three ways.]("./meanings/everlasting.svg") !!!
**Historical Divergence.** This rule is not explicitly mentioned, however it is alignment with a generalization of the rule for the ending *-ship*.
## Exceptional Cases There are a few additional irregular rules in Characterie that have to do with the representation of common words which are not included on the lists of particles or characterical words. These are not structured, and simply must be committed to memory. ### Thus The word *thus* is expressed with the word *this* with a dot on the left hand side. ![The word, "thus."]("./meanings/thus.svg") ### Would The word *would* is represented with the character for *well*. ![The word, "would."]("./meanings/would.svg") ### Should The word *should* is represented with the character for *well* with a dot on the right hand size. ![The word, "should."]("./meanings/should.svg") ### Were The word *were* is represented with the character for *wear*. ![The word, "were."]("./meanings/were.svg") # Exercises **Exercise 1.** Write the following words in Characterie using our reduced vocabulary.
  1. *starter*
  2. *promising*
  3. *princehood*
  4. *demands*
  5. *rhythm*
  6. *jumbled*
**Solution 1.** *a.* The word *start* is already in our characterical words, the ending *-er* can be added with a pair of dots on the right. This is: !["Starter"](./meanings/starter.svg) *b.* Similarly, the word *promise* is in our vocabulary, and we can add the ending *-ing* by adding two dots underneath. This gives: !["Promising"](./meanings/promising.svg) *c.* The word *prince* is in our vocabulary, and the ending *-hood* is written with the word for *ship*: !["Princehood"](./meanings/princehood.svg) *d.* The word *demand* is not in our vocabulary, however, this is in opposition to the word *offer*, so we can take the word *offer* and mark it with a *d* on the right. Adding a dot to the right makes it plural. !["Demands"](./meanings/demands.svg) *e.* *Rhythm* is not on our list, and there is kinda no obvious choice. However, the word *beat* is a homonym of *beet*, and is related to *rhythm*, so you can write *rhythm* as *R>beet*. !["Rhythm"](./meanings/rhythm.svg) *f.* *Jumbled* is a synonym for *mixed* that starts with *j*. *J* is written the same as *i* in Characterie, and it is past tense, so we have: !["Jumbled"](./meanings/jumbled.svg)
-------- **Exercise 2.** Read the following words. Reading words in Characterie is inherently ambiguous without context so there can be multiple correct answers. ![a.](./meanings/word_a.svg) ![b.](./meanings/word_b.svg) ![c.](./meanings/word_c.svg) ![d.](./meanings/word_d.svg) ![e.](./meanings/word_e.svg) ![f.](./meanings/word_f.svg) !!!
**Solution 2.** With all of these, there are likely more than what I write here. There is always a little bit of ambiguity in Characterie, and you will see it on full display here. *a.* This symbol is the equivalent of *cfriend·s*, so the plural of a word associated with *friend* that starts with *c*. The strongest association for me is *compatriots*. Other possibilities that I see are: *companions*, *confidants*, *comrades*, and *chums*. *b.* This symbol is the equivalent of *beforea*, so it is a word with dissenting meaning with *before* that starts with *a*. The strongest candidates are likely *after* or *afterward*. *c.* This symbol is the equivalent of *pinnocent*, so it is a word with consenting meaning to *innocent* that starts with *p*. The strongest for me is *pure*, but words like *pious* or *pristine* might be possible as well depending on context. *d.* This symbol is the equivalent of *latee·er*, so it is a word with dissenting meaning to *late* which starts with *e* and ends in *er*. The word *earlier* seems like the only real option here, but there may be others. *e.* This symbol is the equivalent of *not will·ing*, so it simply means *not willing*. *f.* This symbol is the equivalent of *imetal*. Thus, the most strongly associated words will be things like *iron*, *ingot*, or *iridium*. However, the word *metal* also has homonyms of *meddle* (to interfere with) and *mettle* (the ability to cope with difficult situations), so it could be based on either of those. Associated to *meddle* could be *interfere*, *intrude*, *infiltrate*, and many similar words. Similar to *mettle* could be something like *integrity*. Which kind of base meaning would hopefully be clear from context, but there are many possible readings for this character.
-------- **Exercise 3.** Take time to read the full dictionary of characterical words, you do not need to have it memorized yet, but you should start to be able to think of the correct words. Translate the following sentences into Characterie using the full dictionary of characterical words. To make this simpler, these quotes were chosen to be made almost entirely of Characterical words. * "We know what we are, but know not what we may be." --- *Hamlet*, Act IV, Scene 5 * "This above all; to thine own self be true." --- *Hamlet*, Act I, Scene 3 * "We are such stuff as dreams are made on" --- *The Tempest*, Act IV, Scene 1 * "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." --- *Twelfth Night*, Act 2, Scene 5. !!!
**Solution 3.** * This particular quote exercises many of the particles of Characterie, and in face needs almost nothing but characterical words. We negate the word *what* by adding a slash to the character for it, and we need to represent *may* as *mpossible*. It is tempting to negate the word *know*, however that would read as *we not know what...*. !["We know what we are, but know not what we may be."](./meanings/what_we_are.svg) * This quote is similar in that most words are either particles or characterical, with only *above* needing to be represented by an associated meaning, in this case by consenting association with *over*. !["This above all; to thine own self be true."](./meanings/above_all.svg) * The words *dreams* and *made* need to be marked for plural and past tense respectively, but others are particles of characterical. !["We are such stuff as dreams are made on"](./meanings/such_stuff.svg) * This one has quite a few more subtle points, so let's look through them. First, *afraid* is not characterical, but *fear* is. *Afear* indicated afraid well, and then it also need to be negated for *not afraid*. The word *greatness* is always written simply as *great* as the ending *-ness* is always assumed to be able to be deduced from context. *Some* is written as a homonym of *sum*. *Born* is the past tense of *to bear*, although we do not commonly think of this as we almost never say "she will bear her child in March" instead opting for "her child will be born in March". Other notable words are *achieve* (consenting with *get*), *thrust* (which is consenting with *hit*, through analogy with sword fighting), and *upon* (which is consenting with *over*). It is also worth noting the plural of *other* and the fact that *them* is written as *they*, and the difference is expected to be clear from context. !["Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them."](./meanings/greatness.svg)
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