From: Mark E. Shoulson (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 20:15:08 EDT
Dean Snyder wrote:
>Mark E. Shoulson wrote at 1:01 AM on Thursday, April 29, 2004:
>>>As the situation stands right now, one simply encodes it in Hebrew or
>>>Latin transliteration, effectively deferring further analysis to other
>>>processes. This has its benefits.
>>And its drawbacks, since as you say, it's not an answer but a way of
>>avoiding an answer.
>Rather, deferring it to a level above the plain text level.
No, refusing to answer (in the envisioned case in which there is a
Phoenician encoding). If you DO have an answer, e.g. you DO intend to
place this as, say, Phoenician script by setting it in a
Phoenician-looking font, then you shouldn't be using Hebrew to
transcribe: you should use the Phoenician encoding. If you are setting
the text in Hebrew, you are simply not commenting on the nature of the
script (at least there; you might be in your text).
>>Mis-encoding? Another way to look at it is that by encoding it this way
>>or that way, you are thus making a *claim*, declaring the script to be
>>the one you most strongly believe it to be. What if you're wrong?
>>People, even respected researchers, have been wrong before, and science
>>marches on. (Other people, I mean; not me) If you don't want or don't
>>need to make such a claim, then you can use Hebrew as you do even now.
>>If you do want or need to make such a claim, then the consequences of
>>being wrong are they same as for any other claim.
>But I'm not sure these claims of distinction should be frozen at the
>plain text level.
There's that problem again: "plain text." There's no such thing as
plain text, at least when it comes to old examples.
"Should be frozen"? It depends who's doing the writing. Why shouldn't
a person who wants to make such a distinction be allowed to make it?
>The question whose answer we need to plausibly defend is - What, in
>Ancient West Semitic "scripts", is usefully distinguished in PLAIN TEXT,
>and what is not?
>If I had to take a position right now, I would think that encoding Old
>Canaanite (not Phoenician) and Samaritan is useful, but I would leave
>Aramaic, et al. for more expert, soul-searching discussion.
This sounds a lot like what is being proposed, modulo a name-change:
we're working on a Samaritan proposal, Hebrew's already there, and
Michael has proposed Old Canaanite, which for some reason he has chosen
to call Phoenician. The name may be ill-chosen, and it isn't too late
to change it, but it sounds like you're in general agreement with me and
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