Re: New contribution

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 10:07:25 CDT

At 10:50 -0400 2004-05-03, John Cowan wrote:
>Michael Everson scripsit:
> > It is false to suggest that fully-pointed Hebrew text can be rendered
> > in Phoenician script and that this is perfectly acceptable to any
> > Hebrew reader
>Of course it is.

Then it is false to pretend that the unification makes sense. It is
supremely user-unfriendly.

> > as would be the case for ordinary font change).
>Not all font changes are acceptable. Give me a book, any book,
>set in Magnificat, or Stop, and I'll hand you back a pile of
>well-chewed shreds.

I honestly can't see how you can think that these arguments are analogous.

> > I have referred to Latin font hacks as well as Hebrew ones. That one
> > got ignored, of course, because it shows the Hebrew font-hack argument
>> to be flimsy.
>It's not about font hacks. It's about structural identity.

It's about a very narrow definition, John, which isn't practical,
which isn't faithful to the development of the writing systems of
Western Asia and Europe. Hebrew has more to it than 22 letters.
Phoenician has NONE of that "more" to it. They are not structurally
identical scripts (as, say one could argue that the Syriacs are).

> > Square Hebrew as encoded in the Unicode Standard is a beast unto
> > itself. John Cowan's wish for a generic 22-letter West Semitic Abjad
> > may be all very well and good, but Hebrew is much more than that,
> > and it is not sensible to pretend that it isn't.
>I don't.

You do. If you think that a Hebrew Gemara, with its baroque and
wonderful typographic richness, can be represented in a Phoenician
font, then you might as well give up using Unicode and go back to
8859 font switching and font hacks for Indic.

Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri May 07 2004 - 18:45:25 CDT