Re: Back to Hebrew -holem-waw vs waw-holem

From: John Cowan (
Date: Wed Jul 30 2003 - 13:16:12 EDT

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    Ted Hopp scripsit:

    > Besides, what's all this that I keep reading about Unicode encodes
    > characters, not glyphs? From Chapter 1: "[T]he standard defines how
    > characters are interpreted, not how glyphs are rendered." The "code what you
    > see" approach, while probably the reality of Unicode, seems somewhat
    > contrary to this statement of principle.

    Some characters are more glyphy than others, to be sure, and combining marks
    are explicitly said to be shape-based. But after all, we don't demand that
    in encoding English, final silent e be given a different code from that of
    any other e, so why should silent vs. pronounced shva be encoded separately?

    > > So with Unicode, there is no way to separate even vowels and consonants,

    No more is it possible in any encoding when writing English: is "y" a vowel or
    a consonant? Depends.

    OTOH, we cannot lay down an absolute law. Certain Mongolian letters
    are quite indistinguishable visually in some of their contextual forms
    (Mongolian is a cursive script like Arabic), but are still encoded
    separately in Unicode. There is tension between the various encoding
    principles in Unicode, and designing an encoding for any script is a
    balancing act.

    John Cowan
    "You cannot enter here.  Go back to the abyss prepared for you!  Go back!
    Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master.  Go!" --Gandalf

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