Friday, March 28, 2008

Nu Shu, Women's Secret Form of Writing

As i've mentioned before, women during the ancient times did write. However, to prevent men from discovering this, a secret form of writing was created by women, and this was called "nu shu". In men's writing, the characters appear bold and precise, each character defined as it is. Nu shu, on the other hand, appears soft, fine, and dainty, the characters resembling mosquito legs. Unlike men's writing, a nu shu character does not represent a specific word. Instead, the characters are phonetic in character, like homonyms. As a result, one character can represent every spoken word with that same sound, for example, pair-pear-pare. Context clues and the surrounding characters is what distinguishes the actual meaning. Usually, this form of writing also has a rhythm to it when recited, making it more unique and secretive.

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