- Alternate uses, see Ro (disambiguation)
is an a priori artificial language
created by Rev. Edward Powell Foster in the 1900s
. In Ro, words are constructed using a category system. For example, to say red, you'd say 'bofoc', and yellow would be 'bofof'. "Bofo-" is the category of colors. Foster did not simply think "how could I make a better language", rather it came from a simple question he had. Foster wrote about Ro:
- Ro did not begin with attempting to rival or supplant any other language whatever, either natural or artificial, nor was it suggested by any of them. Unexpectedly came the thought: "How strange it is that there is nothing in the appearance of a written or printed word that gives the slightest hint of its meaning. Why should a word not be a picture? A new word, never seen before would then, like a painting seen for the first time, convey at least some of the meaning to the eye."
The publication of Ro periodicals was supported by several American sponsors, including Melville Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification
, another attempt to categorize human knowledge.
A common criticism of Ro is that it can be difficult to hear the difference between two words; usually one consonant makes the word completely different. That may have been why Ro didn't catch on as well as other constructed languages, such as Esperanto.