Re: New contribution

From: John Cowan (
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 07:56:08 CDT

Michael Everson scripsit:

> You can buy books to teach you how to learn Sütterlin. Germans who
> don't read Sütterlin recognize it as what it is -- a hard-to-read way
> that everyone used to write German not so long ago.

Sure. At some point, the same was true of Palaeo-Hebrew and
Square Hebrew, no doubt. Jews returning from Babylonian
exile with their nifty new Aramaic-style glyphs probably
saw PH inscriptions around them here and there.

> Phoenician script, on the other hand, is so different that its use
> renders a ritual scroll unclean.

Everson Monotype Hebrew glyphs would render it unclean as well.

> What? No chance. On Mac OS for instance, if the font didn't have glyphs,
> they would be substituted from a Hebrew font which did or with the
> Last Resort Font.

And if the font contained explicit glyphs of zero width, what then?

> If you unify PHOENICIAN QOP with HEBREW KOP (because, according to you,
> Phoenician is just a font variant of Hebrew) it will be reasonable
> for people to expect the right Hebrew behaviours, such as display.

Within the scope of the subset actually required for Phoenician,
certainly. I wouldn't expect a Trajan's Column font to have glyphs --
still less reference glyphs, with their totally inappropriate style --
for thorn, for example.

> Either way, pointed and cantillated text displayed in a Phoenician
> font is a JOKE at best.

Probably. So is Q with dagesh, though it's equally legal Unicode.
Why be so concerned about a borderline case? People who encode
Phoenician, whether they use the Hebrew codepoints or not, are
not likely to litter it with unhistorical points and cantillations.

If you understand,                      John Cowan
things are just as they are;
if you do not understand,     
things are just as they are.

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