Re: New contribution

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sun May 02 2004 - 18:28:43 CDT

At 11:43 -0700 2004-05-02, Peter Kirk wrote:

>>And if you want to write Phoenician text in Phoenician script, you
>>can use Phoenician script for it. And if you want to write
>>Phoenician text in Hebrew transliteration, you can use Hebrew
>>script for it. And if you want to write Phoenician text in Latin
>>transliteration, you can use Latin script for it.
>So you agree with me that "if you want to write Phoenician text in
>Phoenician script, you can use Phoenician script for it". Do you say
>that you "must" use Phoenician script? Apparently not.

You are free to write it in its original script, or to transliterate
it into Hebrew or Latin or Thanna or Cherokee or any other script
that you want.

>>That would be no different from using the Latin block for
>>Phoenician script with masquerading fonts. Neither case is a
>>"failure" of the Unicode Standard.
>Not a failure of the standard, of course, but a failure to do what
>the standard requires.

The standard does not require Gothic specialists to use Gothic script
to encode Gothic. Most don't. Most use Latin transliteration. Yet we
encoded Gothic, as we shall encode Phoenician; whether the kind of
Semiticist you claim to speak for wants to use that script or not is
outside the scope of the Unicode Standard or ISO/IEC 10646.

>Well, is it? That is the question which you have not answered. Does
>Unicode say that I should not use the Latin block for Hebrew script
>with a legacy encoding and a masquerading font? Will it say that I
>should not use the Hebrew block for Phoenician script with a
>masquerading font?

The answer to these questions is that they are the wrong questions.
Unicode encodes characters. It identifies unique entities and encodes
them. It does not force you to use them, and it does not force you to
use them "correctly". Your apparent discomfort with the encoding of
Phoenician script is that you think that it will force you to stop
transliterating ancient texts with the Hebrew script. This is a false
assumption on your part.

The glyphs used to represent characters in the Unicode Standard are

Common sense says that you should not use the Hebrew block for
Phoenician script with a masquerading font, since the Hebrew script
and the Phoenician script are different scripts.

Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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