The background of EL and the founder Yoshiko McFarland

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Birthday / Reform / The Ancient World / Overlay system /
Religion and pledge to the Earth / Culture shock / Through the whole body
The sequence of events is not always in chronological order.



The Ancient World

The Overlay system

Yoshiko used various plants and chemical materials for her batik colors. Applying wax with a brush to protect the dye, she dyed cloth repeatedly in a plant soup and then let it dry, laying over a mineral soup and letting it dry again. The same plant could make a variety of colors with different minerals, and even with changes in climate. The first color of the dye process is not the finished color, unlike paint. It needs to have the total plan of the laying over system to be in the imagination of the creator from the beginning in order to succeed.

Her brain got familiar with this way for 20 years. Later when she started to think about the EL; knowing about the possibility of computer functions from her friend J. C., the compounded-character: the unique overlay system of the EL, came naturally to her. Then the system itself taught her what to do through its natural and rational structure.

While she had never touched a computer, her friend architect J. H. helped her to form the EL bases with his computer. EL started with only a written method at first. Hearing about sign languages from V. W., Yoshiko researched about hand signing history; as a result, EL became a multi-method auxiliary language with various types of signs. Prof. Takashi Tanokami (the main creator of Japanese sign language) encouraged her by sending some materials; also her folks and new friends, who sympathized with the idea of EL, gave her books and information, contrary to many more old friends who left her because of the EL projects.

For the first publication about EL in a Japanese magazine in 1992, she had to draw each EL symbol by hand with rulers. In 1994, Yoshiko finally got her own computer with Japanese software, and the same year, her son, Tomo programmed an EL word processor for her. Since then she could type EL, and at the end of 1996, she started to build the EL web site. The Internet brought many teachers for her from around the world; so a former batik painter could learn linguistics and phonetics; also get views from many different cultures. Tomo's EL word processor worked until German Jo Chen made a new compatible EL font in 2006. Not only the language-overlay-system, the EL project itself has been shaped by a thick overlay of talents, wisdom, input of labors and supports accumulated for years. Her husband Don has supported the EL project without complaint all through the years.

Religion and the pledge to the Earth

Culture shock and how the EL inspiration came up

Through the whole body

EL Meditation Exercise
to feel your body joy through EL body signs

Brief of the EL concrete system