Monday, January 25, 2021



"Learn read Uniform Data Enter Language"


This isn't a real conlang but it's great when you need to put something pretty on the side of your starship that isn't English.  Strictly speaking, UDEL is a cipher based on the Cistercian numeral system, which was used by medieval monks to number pages from 1 to 9999.  The cipher cross-references the Project Gutenberg corpus of the 10,000 most common English words and follows a few very simple grammatical rules and dispenses with some superfluous grammar. All geocaching tools a geocacher ...


UDEL did not start out as a language as such.  Rather, it was the creation of harried data-entry technicians who sought a more efficient way to input text into spreadsheets in a machine-readable format.  With only four strokes of the number keys, an experienced writer can enter all of the most common words in English (and its successors).  As corporate bureaucracy spread, so did UDEL and it gradually took on a life of its own among spacers, technicians, and corporate functionaries.  

UDEL is easy to transmit, information-dense, and extremely keyboard friendly, especially where a user does not have access to a full keyboard.  While the language is a parasite on the 27th-century ancestors of English (such as they are) and does not have an independent existence, tongue-in-cheek UDEL-derived compound words are very common among spacers, often displacing the original words (for example "straightlight" has displaced "laser" among spacers).    


UDEL generally follows English SVO word order but as it has developed as an independent written language, users often adapt the language to their own tastes.  Generally, UDEL disregards plurals, adverbs, and other guff in the corpus.  

READING ORDER:  Left-to-right and top-down.  Proper nouns in cartouches are read in the same manner.

ARTICLES:  Optional in informal use but present.  

PUNCTUATION:  As other ordinary 27th-century English relatives.  

PLURALS:  While most users dispense with plurals in casual use, when it's absolutely necessary, they either add a number or a word such as "many" before the noun or double up the noun (like various Malay languages).  For example, to say "he has demons," a UDEL writer would say either "he has many demon" or "he has demon demon."

PROPPER NOUNS:  Proper nouns are denoted with a cartouche.  UDEL tends to regard more things as proper nouns than ordinary English does.  While some common names exist in the Gutenberg corpus, they don't exist in the fictional cipher that UDEL would use in-universe.  Ideally names follow the etymological history where that exists.

COMPOUND WORDS:  Where UDEL's limited lexicon is not adequate, compound words may be used.  These words may be indicated with an underline if it is unclear that the combination of words is intended as a compound word.  This is one way to express things like chemical elements.  For example,  hydrogen is "ELEMENT 1" (2713; #0001).

NUMBERS:  When you need to write actual numbers with the numbers UDEL uses as characters, just rotate the Cistercian numerals right-side-up.  UDEL has a very strong preference for scientific notation and when representing large numbers without it, most users turn to Arabic numerals.  It's also possible to disregard the thousands place in the Cistercian numeral and write a large number like 23,900,000: "0023; 0900; 0000."  Optionally, the number may be underlined.  Decimals use a period.  

TENSE:  UDEL only uses infinitive form of verbs, tense expressed by context (as Mandarin). For example: "yesterday he eat [a] hamburger" instead of "he ate a hamburger."

POSESSIVE: UDEL uses a general purpose possessive particle similar to the Mandarin "的" (de).


"TRADE 666 Broke Gods" 
This is a proper noun and a ship registration all in one!
"MILITARY Certain Sword Lady" (1026-0285-1070-0421)
Also a name and registration.
"Dull Theory Among Slaves" (1824-1773-0222-1670)

"I not like journey to shop"


  1. Thanks you for this, it made my day and I can't wait to play around with it.

  2. This is so good I'm mad for not thinking of it myself! May I use UDEL in my upcoming game thing (with whatever attribution you prefer, of course)?

  3. No need for any attribution!

    This is all for taking.

  4. If you do anything written with it, let me know so I can check out your stuff!