Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: Ted Hopp (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 18:01:01 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Hopp: "Re: Hebrew Vav Holam"

    On Thursday, July 31, 2003 5:06 PM, John Cowan wrote:

    > Ted Hopp scripsit:
    > > 1. It corresponds to standard Hebrew grammar.
    > > 2. It would be simple and easy to explain to users, edit, handle in
    > > keyboards, etc.
    > It would be no problem to have a "holam male" key that generated two
    > consecutive Unicode characters.

    True, but what about editing? Should a backspace delete both characters or
    just one? Quite a dilemma: have the "right holam" combining character be
    handled differently by the software from other combining characters (thus
    adding to the job security of code maintainers) or have the "insert
    character-backspace" sequence be a no-op (from a user's perspective) for all
    keystrokes except holam male. Nasty. And avoidable.

    > > 3. A combining mark for holam male would be applicable to a vav and only
    > > a vav. It seems needlessly complicated and arcane to create a combining
    > > for the sole purpose of creating exactly one sequence that uses it.
    > How would one encode an isolated aleph with a right holam over it, when
    > explaining fine Hebrew typographical rules? The current context-dependent
    > mechanisms are suitable for ordinary use of aleph with right holam,
    > but not for cases like this, as far as I understand.

    What is this with a right holam on an alef? There is no such thing. As
    people have pointed out before, all such examples should be interpreted (and
    encoded) as a holam haser combined with the consonant preceding the alef. It
    certainly doesn't exist in isolation. The "right holam" is an invention of
    this discussion. With a separate holam male character, the entire issue goes

    > > 4. A combining mark sequence would invite the creation of a new
    > > form (or else changing the decomposition of FB4B).
    > Neither of those things is going to happen. The UTC will not encode
    > any new presentation forms, any new decomposable characters, or change
    > any decompositions. Death before dishonor. :-)

    A holam male character wouldn't be decomposable if there weren't a "right
    holam" combining mark.


    Ted Hopp, Ph.D.
    ZigZag, Inc.

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