훈민정음 (A Language 4 the People)




A Language for the People is a story of language reform and language encoding. Languages evolve, as do the visual representations of language. Evolutions, do not however result in the best possible outcome, they result in something that is good enough. It is not easy work, but sometimes the way we have always done things needs to be re-examined uprooted and rebuilt.

Back Story



In 15th century Korea, King Sejong the Great saw that the written language being used, hanja, (Chinese characters) was so hard to adapt to the language being spoken that it created a severe intellectual divide, keeping the majority of the population illiterate. With the help of his scholarly council, The Hall of Worthies, he invented a new written language for his people, 훈민정음, "The Proper Sounds for the Education of the People" or Hunmin Jeongeum. Hangul, as it is called today. It is considered by linguists to be one of the most perfect written representations of the spoken word it represents.

In the US language reform has been tried with little success. Our reform of the 15th century introduced new errors like the 's' in 'island'. The English language has always been my personal Achilles' heel. Inconsistencies abound and for every rule there are more words that break it than follow it. Coding, however nuanced with imperfections and multiple solutions, must still adhere to a much stricter rule set than natural language in order to function. I don't have a vote in the way our language functions, or what is considered the correct way of writing it but I do have a choice in how I render it.

A Language for the People is every character I can render. It is a PHP script that simply goes through every Unicode character in order and renders the resulting HTML. It is both simplistic and mesmerizing. It is an ordered numerical structure capable of being infinitely expanded to universally represent all variants of our organic written word.

All for One



A Language for the People was exhibited as part of "All for One". The show ran from October 2nd to November 10th 2009 at Works/San Jose

Run It



See what characters you can render!
Run A Language 4 the People!

John Bruneau 2017