This is the Shavian alphabet – an alphabet designed specifically for the English language. Every sound that you can think of in any word that you can think of in English is represented by these 48 letters.
The idea for an alternative alphabet was very dear to Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and he bequeathed a good sum of money to its development in his will. While the prescribed amount was whittled down, a call went out with very specific parameters with promise of a cash prize .
The £100,000 Shaw initially left to the alphabet project was busted down to a rather more modest £8,300. But that was more than enough to run a competition – with a cash prize of half a grand – for someone to design the new alphabet. An alphabet that Bernard Shaw insisted would need to have a minimum of 40 characters to properly represent English. … He also stipulated in the will itself that the alphabet must enable English to be written “without indicating single sounds by groups of letters or by diacritical marks” – so, basically, no accents.
The winner was Ronald Kingsley Read, a designer who realized Shaw’s vision. The alphabet took some getting used to, but had its advantages.
The Shavian Alphabet was designed at a time when handwriting was still,I guess, the dominant way that most people in everyday life used the Alphabet. And each letter was designed to be written with a single stroke of the pen, so it was quite efficient. Great! So noo dots or crossbars. None of these letters requires you to take your pen off the page.