Shifted Alphabet CodeReference > Mathematics > Codes and Secret Messages
The Shifted Alphabet Code is very very easy to do. Begin by writing down the alphabet in order on a piece of paper (or use the one below).
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Now pick a number between 1 and 25. Got it? I picked the number 3. Now, when you write down your coded message, instead of writing the realletter, you find that letter in the alphabet and count forward - as many letters as the number you picked.
So, if my message was "HI, HOW ARE YOU?" I would begin by finding the letter H, then counting foward three letters, to get the letter K. Then, since the next letter is I, find the I and count forward to get the letter L. Keep going through the whole message like that.
Uh oh...what about punctuation (like that question mark at the end of "Hi, HOW ARE YOU?"? Just leave that exactly the way it is.
Uh oh again! what happens when I get to the letter Y? I can't count forward 3 letters, because there aren't enough letters in the alphabet! That's okay...just start over at the beginning, after you count the Z. So Y becomes B!
Get the idea? Now you can try the Encoder at the top of the page. This encoder Shifts all the letters one, so an A becomes a B, a B becomes a C, and so on.
Is this code difficult to decode? Well, it's only a little bit harder to decode than the Backwards Alphabet Code. Why? Because, in order to decode it, you need to know how many letters the message was shifted in the first place! Of course, if you don't know, it's not impossible...you just have to "unshift" it one letter at a time, until you get a message that makes sense!
Do you think people use this code for things theyneed to keep secret? No, they don't. Because it's too easy to decode. But it's still fun to play with.