File:Bill Meyer cipher.png

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This runiform script, a cipher for Latin, was invented by Bill Meyer and described in a 1976 article in Cryptolog, a newsletter of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).[1] It was inspired by heavy block lettering popular while he was in high school. Each Latin letter was drawn inscribed in a square, and then the square was erased. He taught the cipher to his classmates, and a bit of cleanup emerged: distinguish E from B and U from D, and connect the strokes of K, X, and Y. One variant (not pictured here) rotated the X back to its Latin plaintext orientation rather than making it a tall O.

When portions of Cryptolog were declassified in October 2012, David Reidy of Cracked called the unredacted portions "like Highlights, but dumber".[2] I'm more inclined to give the NSA the benefit of the doubt and assume that Meyer's article was intended as something for NSA employees to teach their children to help them build an interest in cryptography.

It could be useful in fiction as a script that had its origin in a cipher, the way the scripts of Maldivian and Tuhua arose from situations where literacy was suppressed among part of the population.

Licensing

Chart by Damian Yerrick, licensed under Creative Commons Zero Public Domain Dedication: no rights reserved. Based on a public-domain work of the United States Government.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 William Meyer "Another Cipher by..." Cryptolog #23, September 1976, p. 11.
  2. David Reidy. "4 Bizarre Things Found in the NSA's Secret Internal Magazine". Cracked, 2013-06-26. Accessed 2013-06-26.

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current22:11, 26 June 2013Thumbnail for version as of 22:11, 26 June 2013240 × 320 (1 KB)Tepples (talk | contribs)This runiform script, a cipher for Latin, was invented by Bill Meyer and described in a 1976 article in ''Cryptolog'', a newsletter of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).<ref name="Meyer">William Meyer "Another Cipher by..."...
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