Re: Back to Hebrew, was OT:darn'd fools

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue Jul 29 2003 - 09:35:11 EDT

  • Next message: Karljürgen Feuerherm: "Re: Back to Hebrew, was OT:darn'd fools"

    On 28/07/2003 21:18, Jony Rosenne wrote:

    >The most reasonable way to achieve visible effects, as opposed to difference
    >in text, is by markup.
    But, Jony, this IS a difference in the text. It is a different character
    sequence with a very different pronunciation and a thousand year history
    of a different graphical representation. Joan has shown that it is NOT
    just a difference made in one recent text as some had suggested. It was
    just convenient to lose the graphical distinction when computers were
    not powerful or well enough specified to make it.

    This reminds me of the polytonic Greek issue. If I understand correctly,
    the Greek government decided to do away with the distinction between
    accents because this was easier to implement with 1960's computers. But
    modern use in Greece is not the entire range of the Greek language, and
    so Unicode was forced to backtrack and add a whole extra block for
    polytonic Greek. As with Greek, so with Hebrew, Unicode has to support
    thousands of years of language history and not just usage since the
    1960's deliberately simplified for the computer age. The difference is
    that the Greek accents were not pronounced differently, at least in
    modern Greek, but the Hebrew letters are pronounced very differently.
    Also we are talking about adding at most one letter, or none at all,
    certainly not a whole block.

    If we are to use markup to distinguish between characters which are
    semantically and phonetically as well as graphically distinct, we may as
    well reduce Unicode to one character and make all distinctions with
    markup. ;-)

    Peter Kirk

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