Both here and at the Sawndspel 2
spelling reform forum we have
discussed Celtic letters recently,
and I have wanted to call them
'runes,' in the sense of
'mysterious, old, often carved
letters, not those of the current
alphabet, with a suggestion of
another culture and a possible hint
of some kind of special magic or
"magic."' But in both places
objections were raised, apparently
from different sources, that 'runes'
has to refer to the Germanic
systems. I disagreed with the
objection at first, but when it was
raised a second time I started to
feel it was irresistable, and that
we needed a corresponding Celtic
word to reflect our increasing
interest in Celtic alphabets. I
looked first at 'glyff,' but that
appears to be simply a Manxification
of 'glyph' of unknown age.
The idea I myself came up with was
inspired partly by the alternate
meanings of 'rune:' 'whisper,'
'secret,' which poignantly reflect
the futharks' defeat by the Roman
alphabet. My suggestion: 'celt,'
from the Gaelic word for 'hidden.'
Richard Comaish (on my 42nd
birthday!) :).