Re: New contribution

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon May 03 2004 - 21:03:54 CDT

At 10:25 -0700 2004-05-03, Peter Kirk wrote:

>>It is not possible to take an encoded Genesis
>>text which is pointed and cantillated, and
>>blithly change the font to Moabite or Punic and
>>expect anyone to even recognize it as Hebrew.
>Michael, you assert this, but do you actually know it to be true?

Yes. Yes, I do. Mark Shoulson did a test today
with a group of well-educated young
Hebrew-speaking computer programmers. They did
not recognize it.

>After all, this is not your area of expertise.

Script recognition and identification is within
my portfolio, I should like to think.

>I agree that this kind of mixture is an
>anachronistic one, much like the example I
>mentioned earlier of Vietnamese in Fraktur.

Far less anachronistic, and I wouldn't take a bet
that there weren't Fraktur (or Blackletter at
least) fonts for Vietnamese already.

>But this text would be easily recognisable and
>readable by anyone familiar with both Hebrew and
>the Phoenician glyphs.

I do not believe that any Yiddish speaker would
accept a text in a "Phoenician" font as Yiddish.

The field of application of Phoenician is so
limited that the script just can't be mapped on
to the rich typographic and font traditon of
Square Hebrew with any sense at all.

Wedding invitations are routinely set in
Blackletter and Gaelic typefaces. I bet you 20
that if an ordinary Hebrew speaker sent out a
wedding invitation in Palaeo-Hebrew no one would
turn up on the day.

Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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