Reform your favorite alphabet to make it faster to write AND easier to read! Read on for more details about the new “Latin Alphabet 2.0,” which you should learn immediately.


Two obvious qualities that contribute to making an alphabet “good”:

  • It’s quick to write.
  • The letters can be distinguished unambiguously.

(Information density might also be worth considering—we don’t want the letters to take up too much space—but we’ll be ignoring it here.)

Sometimes, speed-of-writing and ease-of-reading is a tradeoff: consider the shorthand shown in Figure 1.

Fig. 1: Two different shorthand styles from an 1897 book. Public domain. This shorthand text is extremely fast to write, but the resulting glyphs (which are entire words!) are not extremely obviously distinct.

As shown in Figure 2, it’s also possible for an alphabet to be strictly worse than another one.

Fig. 2: The default Latin alphabet (top row, blue) can be made worse by making the letters more complicated to write and more difficult to distinguish (middle and bottom rows).


If we want to improve the Latin alphabet, we’ll need to:

  • Maximize distinctiveness of each letter.
  • Minimize the amount of time required to write each letter.

We will also be trying to avoid mirror-image letters (e.g. p / q / b / d). Figure 3 shows how confusing a “minimalist” set of letters can be if we aren’t already familiar with them.

Fig. 3: These letters are conceptually easy to distinguish (“it’s an L with a long horizontal part” or “it’s a tall L with a short horizontal part”), but in reality they would be extremely confusing. The Latin alphabet equivalent of this situation is the letter “O” and the number “0.”

Let’s attempt to reform the Latin alphabet for ultimate readability: the new Alphabet Version 2.0 is shown in Figure 4, with an example in Figure 5.

Fig. 4: This alphabet (26 letters + digits 0 through 9) takes advantage of three classes of symbol: angular symbols (orange), curved symbols (blue), and mixed symbols (green). All of these glyphs can be written in a single pen stroke. Ideally they should also be totally unambiguous, although a second look has revealed that the “e” and “p” (both in blue) are suspiciously similar.
Fig. 5: An example of the new alphabet in use. Note that it is even somewhat backwards-compatible, since you can (mostly) read it without any special training.

Naturally, we would also need to get rid of the bizarre and depraved historical accident that led to both a set of “lower-case” and “upper-case” Latin letters. Two alphabets seems especially excessive when we consider that the main use of capital letters is for YELLING ON THE INTERNET. This could be equally accomplished by adding a * or # before each word that should be yelled.


Write a letter to your local school board and demand that they teach this new “updated” alphabet to students so they don’t fall behind in the future.

Related work: This is similar to the April 2, 2018 idea about disambiguating certain letters / numbers (e.g. zero (0) and  the letter “O”), but now we’ve applied these optimizations to the entire alphabet!

PROS: This new alphabet would be both faster to write AND easier to read!

CONS: All previous signage and literature would need to be revised to this new system. But this is actually also a positive, because it would create new jobs!