Re: From [b-hebrew] Variant forms of vav with holem

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Wed Jul 30 2003 - 20:04:07 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Hebrew Vav Holam"

    > This depends on who you mean by "we". It's not just you and me, Ted.
    > in discussions on this list a consensus is reached that this is the
    > way to go, then we have the top people in Unicode behind us and

    We should make sure that you all understand that this email list is an
    open disucssion list for anyone interested in Unicode.

    Consensus on this list does *not* imply agreement by the Unicode
    consortium technical committee (UTC), whose voting members are the
    full members listed on

    The UTC accepts and considers proposals from other parties (see for submitting a
    proposal for new characters). For complex matters (which this
    definitely seems to be, based on the volumn of mail!), it is far and
    away the best if someone can attend the appropriate UTC meeting to
    explain the details of the proposal, with the pros and cons of
    different approaches. The chair or vice chair of the UTC should be
    contacted in that case.

    ► “Eppur si muove” ◄

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Peter Kirk" <>
    To: "Ted Hopp" <>
    Cc: <>
    Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 13:44
    Subject: Re: From [b-hebrew] Variant forms of vav with holem

    > On 30/07/2003 13:22, Ted Hopp wrote:
    > >On Wednesday, July 30, 2003 2:13 PM, Peter Kirk wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >>>... analogous to the the past tense, female, second person of
    > >>>borrow: <lamed-qamats-vav-vav-qamats-he>.).
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>To me as a reader of biblical Hebrew, this form looks like an
    error. I
    > >>would expect either sheva under the first vav, or the two vavs to
    > >>combined into one with dagesh. Nowhere in the Bible do two
    > >>vavs occur together, without a full vowel between them.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >
    > >But this wasn't Biblical Hebrew, it was in a modern book for
    > >speakers learning Hebrew. If by "error" you mean "non-standard,"
    I'd agree.
    > >If you mean "unintended", however, then it is not an error. The
    author makes
    > >the point himself that using vowels on top of full spelling is
    > >"unauthentic." However, Unicode shouldn't disqualify the poor guy's
    > >(Even if he is only the current president of the [U.S.] National
    > >of Professors of Hebrew.)
    > >
    > >
    > OK, I won't flunk him! :-) Of course we need to support modern
    > including every strange variant as well as biblical. And vice versa.
    > >Putting kholam before vav in order to represent kholam male is a
    > >kludge. I can imagine breaking it with a sentence that starts,
    "Nowhere in
    > >the Hebrew Bible do the following character sequences occur: ...".
    > >
    > Depends what you mean by "break". The renderer won't crash, but it
    > render anything meaningful if what is put in is not meaningful. Just
    > putting "xzxzxzxzxz" after "Nowhere in the works of Shakespeare do
    > following character sequences occur: ..." turns "xzxzxzxzxz" into
    > something meaningful.
    > >...Furthermore, the issue isn't whether the convention is
    > >consistent, it's that it violates Unicode rules about combining
    > >At a minimum, this interpretation and algorithm would have to
    > >normative parts of Unicode for it to be useful for data
    > >
    > >
    > The encoding would have to become normative. The rendering algorithm
    > wouldn't, though it would probably need to be outlined in a
    > >Every developer who cares about kholam male vs. vav-kholam khaser
    has had to
    > >invent some hack to get things to work for his or her needs,
    because Unicode
    > >doesn't support the distinction. Standardizing on one particular
    > >doesn't strike me as the way to go.
    > >
    > >
    > But surely standardising on one particular sensible interpretation
    > the way to go. And one person's hack is another person's sensible
    > interpretation.
    > >I ought to be able to encode what I want and have it decoded at the
    > >end the way I intended. On occassion, we intentionally mis-spell
    things in
    > >English; let's not rely on the assumption that Hebrew is exempt.
    > >
    > >
    > Agreed.
    > >As for proposing a new character to Unicode, it's an idea I'd
    > >support. But my assessment is that making and following up with
    such a
    > >proposal is a quite sizeable project, and, frankly, we don't have
    > >resources to pursue it. (Witness the effort put forth by the UYIP
    folks in
    > >getting HEBREW LETTER YOD WITH HIRIQ [FB1D] accepted.)
    > >
    > >
    > This depends on who you mean by "we". It's not just you and me, Ted.
    > in discussions on this list a consensus is reached that this is the
    > way to go, then we have the top people in Unicode behind us and
    > convinced in advance. Someone needs to draw up a formal proposal, I
    > suppose, but that's not a big job. SBL and SIL both have a stake
    > and experienced people who can help, if they agree. If we can't
    > this list, then we are probably on a loser. But I already see
    > people starting to agree that a new character is the best way to
    > with this issue.
    > --
    > Peter Kirk

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 30 2003 - 20:43:51 EDT