The soot-in-palm-leaves technique was probably borrowed from south India (where the writing systems were also borrowed from).  


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On Apr 18, 2014, 2:47:28 AM, Matthew DeBlock <[log in to unmask]> wrote:  

metal wood burning would be cool, but I doubt a culture with metal would use this.. I can only really imagine this being by a relatively primitive culture. (or one who see some superstition/significance/mysticism in using the fire)

Cool.. did not know that about Indonesian soot writing. very neat :)

I can see how this "fire script" might be useful for making short inscriptions/spells/ etc. on wood-- but then, assuming this culture has metal, why not heat up a metal stylus and burn the letters into the wood? Of course you'd probably have to keep heating up the stylus, since it might cool off quickly (and might be a little tricky to hold in one's fingers....)

IIRC, some early (pre invention of paper) Indonesian cultures scratched the letters into dried strips of palm leaves, then rubbed soot over the surface (or something similar) which filled in the scratches, then cleaned the remaining soot off.. But once they figured out how to make ink from soot, they used a bamboo stylus to just write the letters.

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 6:11 AM, Matthew DeBlock <mailto:[log in to unmask]> wrote:

actually that doe not really work

alcohol and/ or lighter fluid
a)get soaked up and spread, don’t really make lines but large uncontrollable blotches
b)the paper acts just like a wick on a candle, it doesn’t actually burn(not at the bottom, the wick burns away as the wax lowers and the upper end of the wick slowly enters the higher regions of the flame)

more likely the dry (as opposed to wet with alcohol/lighter fluid) parts would catch fire and burn completely, with the wet blotches lasting the longest

Or... maybe you could write the letters with lighter fluid and set them
aflame. It wouldn't last long, but it would definitely be "fire script."
(Call it "satan script" and post videos on the web of your "satanic"
conlang and you're sure to get a lot of hits and hate mail from zealots.)

On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Matthew DeBlock <mailto:[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Not quite sure how you came to that logic. a)one second of error with a pen and you have to start from scratch. b)one second of error on sand and you can wipe and redo the part that was messed up. Like having an eraser edit, erase, and redo all you want, when perfect, set a big fire one top. I'm not actually trying to advocate its real-life use obviously, we produce enough greenhouse gases as it is lol. But I just can't see any reason why this would present the problems you indicate. In my eyes the real disadvantages are a)unequal burning - a large area might not be singed equally. the fire would need to be carefully set up to ensure full coverage and singe ALL uncovered regions b)line spacing width - the lines appear to be quite thin, but the need for a mound of sand creates a limit on how thin lines can be and how close they can be to each other c)risk or burning the paper - IF not care, or if he fire is too hot, the paper could actually burn d)fire hazard - you have to "play with fire"... nuff said ;) >> You are right in that it requires no special materials. However, to me it is more of a question of scale – what if I want to write something a bit more substantial? A chronicles maybe? Doing it on a ratio of one word per fire seems highly impractical for one set of reasons. Doing it on a larger scale seems highly impractical for a whole other set of reasons. A whole paragraph written in sand? One second of clumsiness and it's all effed up. Manuscripts are loaded with errors already as it is. Ingus 2014-04-16 22:37 GMT+02:00 Matthew DeBlock : > Really? you must not have seen Nailscript then. > > Iron nails take alot of more energy and resources to produce, and nailing > them takes alot more effort > > It would be better to use sticks and kindling to burn, but I didn’t want > to start a camp-fire in my house. > > Its more just meant for considering "what if" a writing system evolved > this way. It could be more efficient in some ways, depending on the > resources available. > > use leather or bark instead of paper, and it requires NO special materials > or tools, just sand, your finger, and fire > > > Dustinger Batailleur > >That's the least efficient writing system I've ever seen. > > > On 16 April 2014 10:00, Matthew DeBlock wrote: > > >