Now Turning Heads: sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ʎɹɐ9

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As of today (April 1), I’m changing my name from Gary L. Matthews simply to Gary Matthews. In other words, dropping the middle initial (L).

But with a twist — literally:

From now on, my name is to be written, typed, spelled, and spoken — UPSIDE DOWN. Like this:

sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ʎɹɐ9

Please note, it’s still pronounced the same, so you should have no trouble saying it aloud. Just stand on your head while speaking it. Handwriting it is easy, too: Simply turn your checkbook upside down while filling in “Pay to the order of…”

Typing my name gets a little trickier. For that, you may need a keyboard upgrade. If you’re still using one of those old-timey 20th-century-style models with no more than a few hundred characters, it’s time to trade up to a Unicode keyboard. Then you can hunt-and-peck hundreds of thousands of characters. You’ll be able to type in Cyrillic, Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, even ancient Phoenician hieroglyphics.

But the really important thing is that you’ll be able to type my name, sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ʎɹɐ9. So you can keep those emails rolling in.

Another benefit of a Unicode keyboard is that you’ll be able to type your own name upside down. Thus, if your name is that of my wife, “Cheri Victoria Wallace Matthews”, it becomes “sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ǝɔɐןןɐM ɐıɹoʇɔıΛ ıɹǝɥƆ”. “Zabine Van Ness” can now type hers as “ssǝN uɐΛ ǝuıqɐZ”. “Miles Lane” becomes “ǝuɐ˥ sǝןıW”. “Susan Stiles Maneck” transposes to “ʞɔǝuɐW sǝןıʇS uɐsnS”. And so forth.

Or, let’s say you want to use the word “password” as your password for all your online banking. You’re just worried the National Security Agency’s new supercomputers might eventually crack this otherwise impregnable cipher using brute-force decryption. No problem! Just turn it upside down: “pɹoʍssɐd” or “◖ᴚOMSS∀Ԁ”. Then you’re safe — at least from the government, which, under sequestration, has no budget for Unicode-keyboard upgrades. (Of course, crooks always have bigger budgets than law enforcement, so do take care.)

Once you’ve gotten into the spirit of this, you’ll start wishing the whole Internet was upside down. Starting, perhaps, with this blog post. (Let no one ever say I don’t practice my own preaching.) Here goes:

:sǝoƃ ǝɹǝH (˙ƃuıɥɔɐǝɹd uʍo ʎɯ ǝɔıʇɔɐɹd ʇ,uop I ʎɐs ɹǝʌǝ ǝuo ou ʇǝ˥) ˙ʇsod ƃoןq sıɥʇ ɥʇıʍ ‘sdɐɥɹǝd ‘ƃuıʇɹɐʇS ˙uʍop ǝpısdn sɐʍ ʇǝuɹǝʇuI ǝןoɥʍ ǝɥʇ ƃuıɥsıʍ ʇɹɐʇs ןן,noʎ ‘sıɥʇ ɟo ʇıɹıds ǝɥʇ oʇuı uǝʇʇoƃ ǝʌ,noʎ ǝɔuO

(˙ǝɹɐɔ ǝʞɐʇ op os ‘ʇuǝɯǝɔɹoɟuǝ ʍɐן uɐɥʇ sʇǝƃpnq ɹǝƃƃıq ǝʌɐɥ sʎɐʍןɐ sʞooɹɔ ‘ǝsɹnoɔ ɟO) ˙sǝpɐɹƃdn pɹɐoqʎǝʞ-ǝpoɔıu∩ ɹoɟ ʇǝƃpnq ou sɐɥ ‘uoıʇɐɹʇsǝnbǝs ɹǝpun ‘ɥɔıɥʍ ‘ʇuǝɯuɹǝʌoƃ ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ ʇsɐǝן ʇɐ — ǝɟɐs ǝɹ,noʎ uǝɥ⊥ ˙„PASSWORD„ ɹo „password„ :uʍop ǝpısdn ʇı uɹnʇ ʇsnſ ¡ɯǝןqoɹd oN ˙uoıʇdʎɹɔǝp ǝɔɹoɟ-ǝʇnɹq ƃuısn ɹǝɥdıɔ ǝןqɐuƃǝɹdɯı ǝsıʍɹǝɥʇo sıɥʇ ʞɔɐɹɔ ʎןןɐnʇuǝʌǝ ʇɥƃıɯ sɹǝʇndɯoɔɹǝdns ʍǝu s,ʎɔuǝƃ∀ ʎʇıɹnɔǝS ןɐuoıʇɐN ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʇ pǝıɹɹoʍ ʇsnɾ ǝɹ,no⅄ ˙sʇunoɔɔɐ ʞuɐq ɹnoʎ ןןɐ ɹoɟ pɹoʍssɐd ɹnoʎ sɐ „pɹoʍssɐd„ pɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ǝsn oʇ ʇuɐʍ noʎ ʎɐs s,ʇǝן ‘ɹO

˙ɥʇɹoɟ os pu∀ ˙„Susan Stiles Maneck„ oʇ sǝsodsuɐɹʇ „ʞɔǝuɐW sǝןıʇS uɐsnS„ ˙„Miles Lane„ sǝɯoɔǝq „ǝuɐ˥ sǝןıW„ ˙„Zabine Van Ness„ sɐ sɹǝɥ ǝdʎʇ ʍou uɐɔ „ssǝN uɐΛ ǝuıqɐZ„ ˙„Cheri Victoria Wallace Matthews„ sǝɯoɔǝq ʇı ‘„sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ǝɔɐןןɐM ɐıɹoʇɔıΛ ıɹǝɥƆ„ ‘ǝɟıʍ ʎɯ ɟo ʇɐɥʇ sı ǝɯɐu ɹnoʎ ɟı ‘snɥ⊥ ˙uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu <ɯǝ\>uʍo<ɯǝ> ɹnoʎ ǝdʎʇ oʇ ǝןqɐ ǝq ןן,noʎ ʇɐɥʇ sı pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ǝpoɔıu∩ ɐ ɟo ʇıɟǝuǝq ɹǝɥʇou∀

˙uı ƃuıןןoɹ sןıɐɯǝ ǝsoɥʇ dǝǝʞ uɐɔ noʎ oS ˙Gary Matthews ‘ǝɯɐu ʎɯ ǝdʎʇ oʇ ǝןqɐ ǝq ןן,noʎ ʇɐɥʇ sı ƃuıɥʇ ʇuɐʇɹodɯı ʎןןɐǝɹ ǝɥʇ ʇn8

˙sɔıɥdʎןƃoɹǝıɥ uɐıɔıuǝoɥԀ ʇuǝıɔuɐ uǝʌǝ ‘ǝsǝuıɥƆ ‘ıןıɥɐʍS ‘ɔıqɐɹ∀ ‘ɔıןןıɹʎƆ uı ǝdʎʇ oʇ ǝןqɐ ǝq ןן,no⅄ ˙sɹǝʇɔɐɹɐɥɔ ɟo <ɯǝ\>spuɐsnoɥʇ ɟo spǝɹpunɥ<ɯǝ> ʞɔǝd-puɐ-ʇunɥ uɐɔ noʎ uǝɥ⊥ ˙pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ǝpoɔıu∩ ɐ ɹoɟ ʎɐʍʎuɐ dn ǝpɐɹʇ pןnoɥs noʎ ‘sɹǝʇɔɐɹɐɥɔ pǝɹpunɥ ʍǝɟ ɐ uɐɥʇ ǝɹoɯ ou ɥʇıʍ sןǝpoɯ ǝןʎʇs-ʎɹnʇuǝɔ-ɥʇ0ᄅ ʎǝɯıʇ-pןo ǝsoɥʇ ɟo ǝuo ƃuısn ןןıʇs ǝɹ,noʎ ɟI ˙ǝpɐɹƃdn pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ pǝǝu ʎɐɯ noʎ ‘ʇɐɥʇ ɹoℲ ˙ɹǝıʞɔıɹʇ ǝןʇʇıן ɐ sʇǝƃ ǝɯɐu ʎɯ ƃuıdʎ⊥

„˙˙˙ɟo ɹǝpɹo ǝɥʇ oʇ ʎɐԀ„ uı ƃuıןןıɟ ǝןıɥʍ uʍop ǝpısdn ʞooqʞɔǝɥɔ ɹnoʎ uɹnʇ ʎןdɯıS :ooʇ ‘ʎsɐǝ sı ʇı ƃuıʇıɹʍpuɐH ˙ʇı ƃuıʞɐǝds ǝןıɥʍ pɐǝɥ ɹnoʎ uo puɐʇs ʇsnſ ˙pnoןɐ ʇı ƃuıʎɐs ǝןqnoɹʇ ou ǝʌɐɥ pןnoɥs noʎ os ‘ǝɯɐs ǝɥʇ pǝɔunouoɹd ןןıʇs s,ʇı ‘ǝʇou ǝsɐǝןԀ

Gary Matthews

:sıɥʇ ǝʞı˥ ˙NMO◖ Ǝ◖ISԀ∩– uǝʞods puɐ ‘pǝןןǝds ‘pǝdʎʇ ‘uǝʇʇıɹʍ ǝq oʇ sı ǝɯɐu ʎɯ ‘uo ʍou ɯoɹℲ

:ʎןןɐɹǝʇıן — ʇsıʍʇ ɐ ɥʇıʍ ʇn8

˙(˥) ןɐıʇıuı ǝןppıɯ ǝɥʇ ƃuıddoɹp ‘spɹoʍ ɹǝɥʇo uI ˙sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ʎɹɐ9 oʇ ʎןdɯıs sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ˙˥ ʎɹɐ9 ɯoɹɟ oʇ ǝɯɐu ʎɯ ƃuıƃuɐɥɔ ɯ,I ‘(Ɩ ןıɹd∀) ʎɐpoʇ ɟo s∀


Comments

Now Turning Heads: sʍǝɥʇʇɐW ʎɹɐ9 — 10 Comments

  1. OK! My first look at your website made me think: “Why is that pretty picture of a mountain upside down, making it look like the lower part of an ice-berg (usually invisible to the eye) that one might crash into?

    Typing upside down seems like a breeze with a unicode keyboard, reading upside down is another thing altogether. I see the point of creating very safe passwords this way, but for everything else – what is the point?

  2. Ι λικε ψουρ νεω σπελλινγ ανδ Ι εϖεν λικε στανιδνγ ον μψ ηεαδ το σαψ ιτ.

    • Many thanks! Always great to hear from you.

      But Wendi — super-editor that you are, you really must, in this new Unicode era, conquer the distinction between backward text and upside-down text.

      Probably you meant for your comment to read “¡ɐɥ ɐɥ ıpuǝM ‘ǝʌo˥”. Or is it spelled “˥oʌǝ’Mǝupı ɥɐ ɥɐ¡”? Okay, now I’m confused too. Which I guess was Patricia’s point in her comment before.

  3. ˙sʞuɐɥʇ ˙uoıʇɐʇuǝıɹo ǝƃɐd ɟo sǝıʇılıqıssod ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ oʇ ǝʞoʍ ǝuoǝɯos ǝɯıʇ ʇnoqɐ sı ʇı ˙sǝdʎʇ pǝpuɐɥ-ʇɟǝl sn ɹoɟ ʇuǝɯǝʌoɹdɯı ǝʇıuıɟǝp ɐ sı sıɥʇ ˙ʎɹɐƃ ‘ʎuunɟ ʎɹǝʌ

    • Finally, someone else with a Unicode keyboard. Aren’t they great?

      I ride around on mine with my bicycle, up and down rows of keys, cracking a long whip to reach the farther ones. I was planning to make a YouTube video demonstrating proper typing technique. But now that Google is shutting down YouTube, what (as Patricia says) is the point?

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