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Linear A-flat major

Updated: Mar 31

Scholars in the University of Afpuddle's Department of Mathematical-Linguistic Semiotics today announced a major breakthrough in their attempts to de-cypher the hitherto baffling ancient script generally known as Linear A-flat major*. Writing in the scholarly journal The Annals of Linguistic, Philosophical and Mathematical Semiotics, the team led by Professor Ian Thorburgs claims to have decoded more than 8% of the characters, giving rise to the clear expectation that other decodings will follow soon. "It was generally thought to be intractable", Professor Thorburgs explained, "and it has baffled many great minds; but now that we have established that it is a mixture of hieroglyphs, pictographs, scrabble tiles and idiograms, we can say with some confidence that it is no longer a complete mystery to us".

               *  A related but later language known as Linear B-minor was finally decoded by Michael George Francis Ventris, OBE [12 July 1922 - 6 September 1956] an English architect, classicist and philologist. Comparing the Linear B-minor tablets discovered on the Greek mainland, and noting that certain symbol groups appeared only in the Cretan texts, Ventris made the inspired guess that those were place names on the island. This proved to be correct. Armed with the symbols he could decipher from this, Ventris soon unlocked much of the text and determined that the underlying language of Linear B-minor, a syllabic script, was in fact Greek

An ancient plate [possibly used in an eating ritual] is one of several sources used in the Linear A-flat major decyphering project

Transcription of the plate image by Dr Hugo Tarrbins

Just as the key to Michael Ventpiece's decyphering was the realisation that Linear B-minor was, contrary to the then current orthodoxy, an early form of Greek, so with Linear A-flat major, it was the intuitive leap that suggested the "script" was an early form of electronic diagram. The identification of two symbols in particular - one a representation of an anglepoise lamp and the other three doorbell buttons or intercom buzzers** - was, says the Professor the "lightbulb moment". "We were in the dark and suddenly it was light as though a switch had been thrown".

** probably indicating a multiple-occupancy condo or maisonette and possibly a symbol for that instead. Other tentatively proposed characters include an aeroplane propeller, a Kenwood chef / Moulinex magimix, an electronic barbecue and a hand-held [possibly battery driven] nasal clipper.

A sample of Linear A-flat major showing the symbols so-far decoded and likely to prove seminal in the decypherment of the reamining characters.

It seems particularly felicitous that the breakthrough should have emerged at the hand of the Thrupiece Professor of Mathematical-Linguistic Semiotics given Professor Thrupiece's own lifelong fascination with small electrical appliances.

THAT TEAM IN FULL: Professor Ian Thorburgs [Lead Cryptogrtapher], Prof Stan Gibhurro [Elecronics], Dr Burt Hogarins [Computer Analysis], Dr Hugo Tarrbins [Photography/Transcription], Goran Shrubit [Freelance Blue-skies], Nora  Gritbush [Tea and Cakes]

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