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Artificial Script

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Found mainly in fantasy settings, this trope is about fictional scripts invented by the author. Sometimes, they are used as a fancy substitute for the letters in the work's original language, at other times, they come along with an entire Constructed Language/Fictionary.

An aspect of World Building. Super-Trope to Cypher Language. Compare Wing Dinglish.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes parodies this. The writing systems for Dog Planet and Cat Planet are both literally just normal Chinese but with the end bulbs of a Stock Femur Bone and fishbones, respectively, placed all over the Chinese characters. Despite the minimal differences between the two, Ambassador Miao still has trouble reading a letter from Ambassador Wang written in "dog language" until Happy S. rewrites the dog bone bulbs into fishbones.

    Film - Animated 
  • A parallel alphabet exists in Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire. In fact, Milo Thatch deduces that no further evidence of Atlantis has ever been found because one glyph was mistaken for an "R", leading searchers to Ireland in vain. The glyph is rightly a "C", because Viking raiders routinely made port in Iceland, near the dormant fumarole which is the access point to Atlantis.note 

    Film - Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • J. R. R. Tolkien is, if not the Trope Maker, then definitely the Trope Codifier for this one, as he had single-handedly developed several scripts (along with entire languages) for the peoples of his Legendarium. That he was a distinguished professor of linguistics has had a lot to do with this.
  • Dinotopia has the Footprint Alphabet, whose letters are various arrangements of three-toed dinosaur prints. There’s also a bridge alphabet, the Chandaran Transitional Alphabet.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • The Klingons in Star Trek have their own language as well as a writing system.
  • Circular Gallifreyan is the writing of Time Lords in Doctor Who.
  • Babylon 5. The Minbari language is used a number of times throughout the show. In one case they have a small joke; Vir is sent to be ambassador on Minbar and shows up later wearing a ceremonial welcoming robe which says on the front in Minbari writing "Aloha."
  • The Ancient language in Stargate has a whole alternative alphabet. Why they had characters for 8 and 9 when their mathematics was supposed to use base 8 is unknown.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Adherents of various beliefs in Hermetic Magic created several "magical" or "angelic" scripts, such as the Theban script of Tritemius, the Alphabet of the Magi by Paracelsus and the Enochian script (and language!) by John Dee and Edward Kelly. Many of these scripts mimic the structure of the Hebrew script and are meant to write Hebrew words.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • For the various comics set in Overside, Evan Dahm created a number of different scripts and alphabets for the different societies. Some of them are just scribbles, but others are fully functional writing systems, such as Seen Script (from Rice Boy), Machine Script (mainly used in Order of Tales), and Sahta Script (from Vattu).
  • In Paranatural, several ghosts and spirits speak in a script that's actually a modified Latin alphabet. Each letter is a rough trace of the negative space in the corresponding Latin letter, then the whole sentence is rotated 90 degrees.
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    Western Animation 
  • Futurama has an alien script which the writers threw in to amuse and bewilder their audience, but the script was solved fairly quickly. So they made up another whole alien script.

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