From: John Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 17:14:26 EDT
Michael Everson wrote:
> Scholars of writing systems have always recognized the distinction. No
> one teaches that "The Greek script is derived from the Unified
> Twenty-Two Character West Semitic Abjad." They teach that "The Greek
> script is derived from the Phoenician script." They certainly do not
> teach that "The Greek script is derived from the Hebrew script."
Michael, I've read the same books that you have. Scholars of writing systems -- unless
they are specialists in narrow fields, like Solomon Birnbaum -- tend to be generalists,
and their intent is to classify, categorise and arrange writing systems in neat
chronological tables. That's fine; that's their job.
But the majority of users of the Unicode standard are not scholars of writing systems, and
the classification, categorisation and arrangement of scripts -- and I'll remind you that
on the Qalam list Peter Daniels, a very noted scholar of writing systems, questioned the
whole concept of 'scripts' -- is not what they are worrying about when they sit down to do
*their* jobs. Semiticists have some particular concerns about your proposal that stem from
how they do they job. Telling people whose job involves viewing the relationship of
Near-Eastern writing in a particular way that a bunch of people who do a different job
view it differently is not helpful.
Again, again, again: I am not opposing the encoding of the ancient North Semitic script
under whatever name separate from 'modern' Hebrew, even though I don't think the
distinction between the two is so clean as you claim. It is clean enough for most users. I
just want to see if encoded and documented in such a way that it does not generate any
more confusion than necessary for those users for whom the distinction is not only untidy
but, in their work, traditionally non-existent.
-- Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com Vancouver, BC email@example.com I often play against man, God says, but it is he who wants to lose, the idiot, and it is I who want him to win. And I succeed sometimes In making him win. - Charles Peguy
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