RE: Hebrew: matter of taste?

From: Jonathan Rosenne (
Date: Thu Jun 03 1999 - 04:45:58 EDT

+AD4- -----Original Message-----
+AD4- From: Arno Schmitt
+AD4- Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 1999 11:10 PM
+AD4- To: Unicode List
+AD4- Subject: Hebrew: matter of taste?
+AD4- Jonathan Rosenne schrieb:
+AD4- +AD4- First, to substantiate my claim the appearance of the Holam is
+AD4- a matter of
+AD4- +AD4- taste, let me quote from Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, Edited by E.
+AD4- Kautzsch,
+AD4- +AD4- Revised by A. E. Cowley, Oxford 1910, Clause 8g: +ACI-In more exact
+AD4- printing, a
+AD4- +AD4- distinction is at least made between wo +AFs-Vav Holam+AF0- and +AFs-o,
+AD4- long Holam+AF0- ...+ACI-.
+AD4- This is my +ACI-best+ACI- case: the difference
+AD4- between mitswot
+AD4- and matsot
+AD4- That there are some inexact prints (and programs) around
+AD4- does not mean that it is a matter of taste.
+AD4- These printers and programers got it wrong.

No, it is not wrong, in fact it is the common usage.

+AD4- +AD4- Clause 8f is also relevant: +ACI-The +AFs-Holam+AF0- (without +AFs-Vav+AF0-) stands
+AD4- on the left
+AD4- +AD4- above the consonant ... If +AFs-Alef+AF0-, as a vowel letter, follows a
+AD4- consonant
+AD4- +AD4- which is to be pronounced with +AFs-o+AF0-, the point is placed over
+AD4- its right arm,
+AD4- +AD4- thus +AFs-Bo, Rosh+AF0AOw- but e.g. +AFs-Boam+AF0-, since +AFs-Alef+AF0- here begins a syllable.+ACI-
+AD4- +ACI-stands on the left +ADw---+AD4- is placed over its right arm+ACI-
+AD4- not : +ACI-can stand on the left, if that pleases ...
+AD4- can be placed over its right arm, if that suits the printers
+AD4- taste.

What I am trying to say is that this is a placement (typographic) matter, not an encoding matter. The one and only Holam is placed differently in different situations.

+AD4- +AD4- Of course, Gesenius and his followers were not concerned with encoding.
+AD4- +AD4- They were just interested in describing with the utmost
+AD4- precision what they
+AD4- +AD4- observed.
+AD4- +AD4-
+AD4- Dear Jony,
+AD4- I sincerely fail to see how your (+ACE-) witness
+AD4- can support your claim.
+AD4- Maybe you could enlighten me?

I have tried.

+AD4- ...
+AD4- +AD4- +AD4-moSHe
+AD4- +AD4-
+AD4- +AD4- The Holam and The Shin Dot are merged - only one dot is placed
+AD4- on the right
+AD4- +AD4- of the Shin.
+AD4- +AD4-
+AD4- Here there is some leeway. Some do not merge the shin-dot and the
+AD4- holam. This is a matter of taste, maybe of clarity.

This is very unusual. Bad taste.

+AD4- But the difference between matsot and mitswot must be encodable --
+AD4- or not?

Why? And who will provide the input, since the distinction is known onlt to specialist printers, typographers and academics.

The distinction has to be made by the presentation service based on its knowledge. There are several other complex rules regarding the placement of points.

+AD4- Arno


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