Re: New contribution

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 17:14:26 EDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: FW: Web Form: Subj: Against Phoenician"

    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.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    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

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Apr 30 2004 - 17:58:40 EDT