Adverb & adjective. Early 17th century.
[Greek = as the ox turns in ploughing, from bous ox + -strophos STROPHE + -don adverbial suffix.]
(Written) from right to left and from left to right in alternate lines.
We all know that, while English is written from left to right, some languages, like Hebrew and Arabic, write from right to left, right? However, there is also boustrophedon script, most commonly seen in ancient manuscripts and inscriptions, in which the writing is bi-directional, alternating between left-to-right and right-to-left with each line. The characters are also reversed, being mirror images of their usual form. I've tried writing like this, and it's not easy, so I think I'm going to just stick with my oh-so-unadventurous left-to-right English.
However, there are those that claim that boustrophedon script is considerably quicker to read (once one is used to it), as it means you're not constantly dragging your eyes back to the opposite side of the page at the end of each line. Just think of the time savings across a lifetime of reading - all of those wasted microseconds added up. Over the course of 70 or 80 years, it must be at least several minutes that we're just fluttering away with our eyes. That, my friends, is time that could have been spent making one more cup of tea, or checking Twitter, or mournfully looking out of the living room window and wondering where it all went wrong. All this - if only English was boustrophedon.
|Bimanual Bibi's Boustrophedonic Billet|
Can you write boustrophedon?
Are you willing to sign a petition to lobby for its adoption?
Do please plough your must furrowed comments below.