Chinese characters were ahead the time.
In an evolutionary quirk Chinese pictograms never became alphabetic letters, but letters quickly held hands and formed pictures. If left to their own devices, vowels might only form verbs and consonants likewise with nouns, but because of love or the sheer thrill of excitement, consonants and vowels like male and female meet in mid-air, sniff each other, make love, and produce babies running wild with inspiration. Usually pictures gradually become symbolic characters until they become letters, like the alpha beta gamma, aleph beth gimmel, ox house and camel of Semitic origin, twisting and turning and doing flips until they find a comfortable position and retire as the president of the ABC of the future. Ironically, though, it seems that once a word is known, the original phonetic code is superfluous and letters become essentially the same as the brush strokes of Chinese calligraphy. They form a word/picture that is grasped immediately in its entirety, without the necessity of considering the phonetic information involved, even though the word might be silently pronounced in the mind’s vocal chords. Is it possible to read silently without ‘hearing’ the words in the mind’s inner ear? Is it possible to think without language? The definition of thought makes much mention of pictures, none of language. Yet the component quarks of alphabetic script are definitely waves, not the particles of Chinese ideograms. The Chinese characters hanging out in a thousand chop suey kitchens in the Great American west are another story.