A Pick of the Week from Special Collections of the UM Libraries
Seeking to bridge the gaps of communication between ourselves and worlds beyond, John W. Weilgart created what is described as not a “concocted language” but a “rediscovery of the basic categories of human thought and expression.” In his book, aUI: The Language of Space (1968), Weilgart sought to reduce language to its most primitive and intuitive form to create a universal understanding of it that can bypass cultural divide and prejudices. The book also claims that his language of space, known as aUI (and pronounced a-OO-ee), is capable of simplifying our thought process to a bare state where one can only express what they truly mean without hiding behind metaphors and connotations.
In addressing the origin of this language, Weilgart himself once explained that it came from a green elf-like humanoid from outer space who decided to teach it to him so he’d be able to transcend barriers and speak with all intelligent beings. In order to educate humanity as a whole and prepare them for their eventual contact with the unknown, he wanted to pass along the language to as many people as possible to inspire and encourage them to engage in civil negotiations with extraterrestrials rather than approach them aggressively.
In keeping with his noble intentions, each page is outlined with detailed drawings and descriptions of the origins of each symbol, all of which illustrate what he indicates is simple and intrinsic logic. For instance, a single circle serves as the symbol for “space,” and a circle with a dot inside means “inside” while “power” is represented by what appears to be a lightning bolt. These symbols can also be combined in different patterns to form new words and meanings. The book goes on to explain the grammatical structures and pronunciation in further depth to leave readers well-equipped with all of the language’s nuances. So those of you who are interested in communicating with and flattering our future overlords to prevent our eradication as a species should definitely give it a look!
COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL is written by Yvette Yurubi and showcases unique items at Special Collections and the University Archives discovered by librarians and staff members while on the job. They gather monthly for “Show and Tell” to present their top finds. You too can experience these items up close, and access other rare and interesting treasures, by visiting Special Collections and the University Archives, located on the 8th floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.