Alphabetician To The World

Listen / Download

The Lord of the Rings is his co-pilot. When Michael Everson was a boy, the made-up language of J.R.R. Tolkein’s famous trilogy turned him into a life-long lover of language.

Almost three decades later, the Dublin-based typographer is at the forefront of a scholarly movement to encode every single language ever spoken for computer users all over the world. The formal term for what he’s doing is Unicode 4.

Partly, it’s about democracy. Everson will tell you that computer access in any language is a basic human right. But it’s also about dharma, Everson considers it his life’s mission to preserve the world’s languages in computer form so that they may live on long after the last speaker has left this earth. Thousands down. Thousands to go. A multilingual marathon with the leader of the pack.


Michael Everson, typographer, alphabetician, and Unicode expert