Banksy for the Wimp: Shakespeare Edition – the Code

A code is a system of rules to convert information into another form of representation for communication purposes. Every language is already a code of itself as it gives us words and grammar to convey to others what we experience or think. Writing is the next code on top of it. Its marks and signs allow our words to travel beyond the limits of our voice in space and time.

The code I devised is a complete written language by any means. It has its own grammar and it uses signs or groups of signs with an understood meaning. I will not break the code here for you; that would be too easy. But I give some hints.

  1. The language has nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and even some pronouns and conjunctions.
  2. It matters where a word is placed in the sentence.
  3. Brackets are used to portray connection. Whatever is inside brackets is one word/idea. E.g. [[man][[brother][father]]] = a man who is the brother of the father = uncle.
  4. As far as verbs go there are no conjugation, tenses or conjunctive. But they might be used in rare cases in their passive form. That is solely expressed by their position in the sentence, meaning the lack of a subject.
  5. As far as nouns go, if a plural is needed you’ll see a multitude of them.
  6. The meaning of a word: it is implied by the emoji or the group of emojis used. Think creatively, even in metaphors.
  7. [bat shit crazy] helps.

My struggle to devise the code and your struggle to break it basically makes the point: Language is a tool that is shaped by the culture we live in, but that also shapes our culture and what/ how we think and how flexible our mind is. Any reading skill is better than no reading skill as it gives us access to ideas and knowledge without depending on others. But why limit ourselves through the use of a tool that’s rudimentary at best and leaves so much room for misinterpretation and so little for expression of more complex concepts when we have sharper tools in the box? There is a reason why humankind abandoned pretty hieroglyphs a couple millennia ago. We set the limits to what we can think and how we can think about it ourselves by limiting the code we use, the access to any code, and by eliminating topics we deem to be fit to think and tell stories about.

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