This Alphabet Was More than ABC


If Brigham Young Had His Way, A Campbell's Soup Can Would Look Like this in Utah (Deseret)

This Deseret Reader Featured 38 letters

On This Date in History:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints was founded on April 6, 1830 in New York.  The faith was based on the visions of Joseph Smith.  Not long thereafter, the church known as the Mormons moved to Ohio.  That, however, was never considered the promised land.  Instead, Smith decreed that the city of God was in the Show-Me State.  Coverts to Mormonism converged on Independence, Missouri which was later the home of President Harry Truman but for the Church of Latterday Saints, it was considered to be their Jerusalem.    But, the Mormons were met with anger and violence.  Skirmishes broke out wherever members tried to settle in in 1838, the governor  of Missouri said that Mormons “must be exterminated or driven from the state.”   That was not a type-o.  The governor called on the extermination of certain American citizens.    Hmmm…so much of freedom of religion.  Remember, most scholars agree that when the founding fathers constructed the Constitution, they provided provisions to protect religion from government interference.  Today, many suggest it is the other way around.  The Mormons in Missouri knew otherwise.  By the way, the “extermination order 44” issued by the governor in 1838…was rescinded…in 1876!  Government moves swiftly to correct its mistakes.

South Wall of Las Vegas Fort....Strip has come a long way from humble beginnings

The Mormons left a bunch of murdered martyrs behind in Missouri and tried out Illinois but were driven out by the citizens and state officials.  Their try in Nebraska didn’t last long and finally they ended up in the Salt Lake Valley in Utah where the  new leader, Brigham Young, planned a new Mormon nation that he called Deseret.  Mormons moved to the new land and used it as a home base for far off missions.  Farming thrived as did new ventures in mining.  The region was surveyed and communities were planned, including present day Las Vegas.  The dream of a Mormon nation though went by the wayside when the United States Congress declared Utah a territory of the United States on September 9, 1850.  See what happens when you find too much mineral wealth in your new colony? 

Find Out How to Buy a Bio on George D Watt by clicking image

Now, while the nation of Deseret never came to fruition, the language of Deseret did come about for a short time.  On this date in 1854, the Board of Regents of the University of Deseret adopted a new phonetic alphabet.  That University was later called the University of Utah.  As the second president of the Church of Latterday Saints, Brigham Young had charged a committee with developing a new alphabet that simplified the English language.  I’m not sure how developing a new alphabet with more letters made it more simple, but George D. Watt did so.  The conventional alphabet has 26 letters but the one that Watt came up with had anywhere from 38 to 40 letters, depending on which source you want to believe.  Again, how can an alphabet make a language more simple when one cannot even determine how many letters it has?  As an example, there were several different versions of the alphabet in various readers.   Most available photos show 38 letters this anti-mormon book in 1870  shows a key for Deseret Alphabet with 40 letters.

A few books were published using the alphabet, which was supposed to help unify the Deseret nation.  It seems however that the only person who really championed the new symbol system was Young himself.  It lasted for a little more than 20 years and quickly faded away with Young’s death on August 29, 1877.  Probably the shortest lived and only alphabet in world history based on the cult of personality.

Notice the Short Wave Ridging at 500mb on Tue Evening

NWS Rain Total Map Jan 17-18

Weather Bottom Line:  Man, it was cold on Monday.  It was one of those days when the cable weather outlet kept saying it would be in the mid 40’s and we never budged past the mid 30’s.  And it was the kind of cold that you get  on the Gulf Coast.  I always tell Snow White when we go to New Orleans in the winter that 45 degrees in New Orleans is not 45 degrees in Louisville.  It’s because of the humidity.  Well, Monday, 37 degrees in Louisville was like 37 degrees in the French Quarter.  It was really kinda interesting in that, when we went to the car this morning, it was frozen.  The condensation formed on the car before it went to freezing, so the beaded up water was really ice.  Anyway, the clouds kept the temperatures down as there is a quasi frontal boundary almost over the top of us.  They had sun in Paducah and it was in the 50’s so I suppose one might say that they are south of the boundary.

We have a pokey low coming along an old frontal boundary

Now, on Monday evening, it was apparent that there was a shortwave coming through the flow to our west.  As it passes by midday on Tuesday, it’s a pretty fair bet that we get into shortwave ridging which I suspect will give us some breaks in the clouds and allow us to get to the mid to upper 40’s.  Another, deeper wave develops along the front to our west.  It will start to roll and approach us on Tuesday night, increasing rain chances.  It’s not Gumby, it’s Pokey and so rain chances will be pretty high on Wednesday into Thursday.  I suspect  that the low itself will be somewhere in the neighborhood on Friday morning before moving out so rain chances go off the board by midday Friday. Saturday actually looks pretty decent with well above average afternoon temperatures.

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