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For Dragons, By Dragons

Welcome to the original, official source of ClaWrite information!

[picture]   ClaWrite is an alphabet based on a 3x3 grid of straight strokes -- which are very easily made with claws, hence the name. It was something I designed in the early 1990s as a system of dragon writing, but it has plenty of applications for us folks in human bodies, too.

This page provides information about using ClaWrite with standard American English. The system can easily be adapted, though, to any language with less than 50 letters.

If this is your first visit, the best thing to do is read through the language tutorial. To see ClaWrite in action, go read a poem.

Quick Reference

View printable version

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Basics | FAQ | Downloads

Your Questions Answered

The Official ClaWrite FAQ (and other stuff)

Got a question that's not covered?
    Ask and ye shall receive!

 * Who is ClaWrite designed for?

Anyone who likes it, really. I've been known to take ClaWrite class notes in my secret identity of college student. :-) With practice, it writes about as quickly as standard English, and it's far more legible if your handwriting is sloppy.

I've heard from people who have used it for diaries -- imagine being able to take notes in public and not have to worry about people stealing glances over your shoulder.

Roleplayers may also want to use it for maps, drawings and props. Since it's just an alternate alphabet for English, it's a great way to add a sense of foreign adventure to your campaign without learning or creating a foreign language.

 * Wherefore the vowels?

There's a very easy way to remember which vowels are which. (Which is a helpful thing, since at first glance they make little to no sense.) They follow a simple progression...:
  |    -    ||    ¯   | |
  a    e    i     o    u
Notice they go from fewer to more lines as you go from A to U, and that they alternate between horizontal and vertical. This is actually quite convenient because A and E are the most-often used vowels.
To be honest, practice will do it for you. Half an hour and you'll be fine, I promise.

 * Do I have to learn punctuation too?

No. You can continue to use standard English punctuation if you prefer. However, switching punctuation over adds to the effect of the alphabet, and in my opinion looks a little more elegant. (It also makes it slightly less penetrable if you're writing in code to deter snoopers.) AMEC punctuation is available here.

 * Any diagonal lines in there?

Yes, in fact. Only in two circumstances, though.
To illustrate the first, let's take our Word Of The Day from Webster's:
Chautauqua (shuh-TOW-kwuh) (n.) An educational and recreational assembly with ... lectures, concerts, etc.
...In ClaWrite, it looks like this: [Image.]
Ugly. Not to mention illegible.
Our fix is to slash through the U's to separate them from the A's, like so...: [Image.]

The second circumstance: A popular shortcut for the ellipsis (the unit of punctuation consisting of three periods, like this...) is to make three diagonal slash marks, like so: / / /

 * What's this AMEC stuff?

AMEC stands for American English ClaWrite. Since ClaWrite is, after all, only an alphabet, AMEC tells you the handy information that it's an alphabet for writing in English. It can easily be adapted, though, to any language with less than 50 letters. (Spanish and Ancient Garnian alphabets have also been developed; contact the address at the bottom of the page for foreign-language ClaWrite information.)

 * Why is there no '=' character? There's only E and O with horizontal slashes, compared to A, I, and U with vertical.

Because GALC (Garnian Languages ClaWrite) has both a hard I and a soft I. The '=' character was left out in AMEC for compatibility.

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Basics | FAQ | Downloads

The Goods

We have fonts to download!

Right-click on the image for the font you want, and click "Save File As ..." (or whatever your browser calls it) in order to download the font file to your computer. Then just install the font, and go!

Both of these files are TrueType fonts and should work on any modern system, regardless of OS.

[Clawrite Roman, by Cerulean]
--> Clawrite Roman
By Cerulean
[Clawrite, by Tanaki]
--> Clawrite
By Tanaki
(Created in FontStruct)

Older stuff:

Using ClaWrite

Creative Commons License
The ClaWrite alphabet by Baxil (Tad Ramspott) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This means that you are free to use it, without asking (or even telling me), for any noncommercial purpose, as long as you give me credit for the original work. You can even modify it and share your version with others, as long as you make your modifications similarly free for others to use. For more details, click the CC image above.

If you want to use ClaWrite for any commercial purpose (i.e. where money changes hands), please contact me.

ClaWrite Sightings

A partial list of ClaWrite appearances in the wider world:

Similar Scripts

The idea of "marks made with claws" is a pretty basic one, and while I still think ClaWrite is the claw-script that's easiest to read and write, others have produced some great takes on the same theme:

Up to draconity index

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Page created Jan 15, 1997. Last updated Apr 25, 2011.
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