Last week was our Primary Program. I’m a big fan, and not just because I get out of planning Sacrament Meeting for that week. I always enjoy watching the kids yell into the microphone, tug their clothes out of fit and enthusiastically (or bored to death) sing their little hearts out. One of the best programs of the year, if not the best.
During the program our friend’s 4-year old son got up to speak. After his first line I realized he was reading it (most kids only have 1-2 lines that are either memorized or whispered to them by an adult). Not only was he reading it but he appeared more comfortable behind the pulpit than most of our ward. His 10-15 sentence talk was fantastic and at the end of it I sat wondering at what age kids are learning to read these days.
As a designer I’m naturally fascinated by the alphabet, both as a visual tool for communication and as a series of symbols representing an idea. The first communication via writing was in the form of pictographs, the most famous being Egyptian hieroglyphs. Using a picture to communicate the content of the picture is a natural instinct. In the western world this form of writing gave way to cuneiform (ask Ronan) which eventually gave way to our modern phonetic Greek and Roman alphabets (a limited number of symbols that are put together to make different sounds rather than a different symbol for every word).
My friend’s son didn’t use an alphabet, rather he drew his own hieroglyphics (or what he would probably call them, “pictures”). I love that his natural inclination is the same as that of an adult’s of 4,000 years ago. My friend started a couple of the drawings but his son quickly took over because his dad’s didn’t make any sense to him (Duh! I mean, he’s only a brilliant illustrator and designer, how could he know what would best communicate?).
Below is the scanned talk (click on the thumbnail) and the Rosetta Stone:
I love primary
I am a sunbeam
Every sunday (calendar) eye go downstairs to primary.
I love all my primary friends
We (wheat) go to class (and sometimes down the hall to get a drink) we have
color time, singing time, we read the bible and sometimes play games.
Brother C and Sister C are my teachers, they teach me ABC’s they are very (V) nice (smiley). They teach me what if I had a shark pet.
They teach me to nice (smiley) to my family
they teach me to have faith (FA…) in Jesus,
they teach me that he was baptized and that he loves me.
Jesus can make me feel safe when I go to bed.
In the name of Jesus Christ A-men.
It looks like Brigham Young’s Deseret Alphabet now has a little competition.