What’s a Glyph?

I play the game Wordle every morning and like many fans had a hard time solving the puzzle last Friday. The solution was ‘glyph’ and many people were complaining on social media that it was too uncommon a word and shouldn’t have been used.

I did know what a glyph was and immediately thought of some examples of glyphs I had in my photo collection. For those who may not be familiar with the word glyph, the Merriam Webster dictionary offers two definitions.

A symbolic figure or a character (as in the Mayan system of writing) usually incised or carved in relief

As it turns out I had a perfect example for the first definition because at a museum we toured in Merida Mexico we could have our birthdate printed out in Mayan hieroglyphics. This was mine.

The second definition of a glyph is…….. a symbol that conveys information non-verbally.

Turns out I had the perfect photo for that definition too. This was the label on a men’s washroom door in a ryokan we stayed at in Kyoto Japan. All the information you need is right there. No words are needed to explain this sign.

Here are some other glyphs I’ve photographed.

I photographed this fish symbol for Christianity at the catacombs we toured in Rome.

I photographed this calligrapher in Stanley Market in Hong Kong as he wrote my name in Chinese symbols.

I photographed these petroglyphs while hiking the Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona

I photographed this skull and crossbones symbol that warned of landmines on a visit to Cambodia.

I photographed these 10,000-year-old petroglyphs on a grandfather rock near Hershel Saskatchewan when I was touring the Ancient Echos museum site there.

I photographed this sign for a school zone in obvious need of repair outside a school in St. Ann’s Bay Jamaica.

I photographed these petroglyphs on a rock at Taliesin the former estate of architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I photographed this symbol on the jeep of the tour company that took us on a four-hour trek to learn all about cork and how it is grown and harvested in Portugal. The owner of the tour company is a fan of the children’s book Ferdinand the Bull. In the story, the bull sits under a cork tree and we see an allusion to that story in the symbol.

I wasn’t upset as many Wordle fans were when the word on Friday was ‘glyph.’ I was interested however and had fun looking for photos of glyphs I’d seen.

Other posts………..

Spending the day with Antonio and Jose

The Catacombs- Myth and Reality

Discovering A Grandfather Rock

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