Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 14:29:35 EDT

  • Next message: Jony Rosenne: "RE: Hebrew Vav Holam"

    On 31/07/2003 11:31, Jony Rosenne wrote:

    >This argumentation applies equally well to th (which should be at least two
    >Unicodes in English), gh (how many?), etc.
    >>-----Original Message-----
    >>From: Ted Hopp []
    >>Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 4:58 PM
    >>To: Peter Kirk
    >>Cc: Jony Rosenne;
    >>Subject: Re: Hebrew Vav Holam
    >>I think of holam male as an indivisible glyph that happens to
    >>look like a vav with a dot centered above it (or above its
    >>stem, if you will, but that's just how it might vary from
    >>font to font). It's much the same as a lower-case 'i' not
    >>being a dotless i glyph with a combining dot. (Sometimes an
    >>'i' is just an 'i'.) I wouldn't call the dot anything but a
    >>dot, certainly not a holam male.
    >>Let's encode Hebrew, not dots. It may mean changes to what
    >>SIL, UniScribe, and others are doing, but there's no free lunch here.
    As a native speaker of English, I certainly think of th and gh as
    sequences of two glyphs, not as indivisible combinations, so that is the
    difference here.

    But a better example might be French e, e acute and e grave. These are
    three separate letters which need three different ways to encode them.
    Whether the accented versions are encoded as one character or two is
    unimportant as long as they are distinct. Similarly we have three
    letters, vav on its own, vav with right holam and vav with left holam,
    and so we need three ways of encoding them.

    As for the character name, I am forced to consider these entirely
    meaningless except for being unique and stable, as UTC has refused to
    correct demonstrable mistakes in these names, including at least one
    Hebrew accent. So I would actually prefer to use a meaningless random
    string of characters because at least that is more or less guaranteed
    not to be misleading.

    Peter Kirk

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