Re: Pal(a)eo-Hebrew and Square Hebrew

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue May 04 2004 - 04:51:16 CDT

From: "Dean Snyder" <>
> Patrick Andries wrote at 8:55 AM on Monday, May 3, 2004:
> >I got this answer from a forum dedicated to Ancient Hebrew :
> >
> >« Very few people can read let alone recognize the paleo Hebrew font.
> >Most modern Hebrew readers are not even aware that Hebrew was once
> >written in the paleo Hebrew script.
> The same could be said for archaic Greek versus modern Greek - do you
> propose to encode archaic Greek separately?

Why not? If it helps serving better the scholars, searchers, students, and
script fans so that they will more accurately represent this historic script
than with the modern form.

After all, when I look at some medieval French texts written with what we call
"écriture gothique", with its historic orthograph and letters (with long s
notably, and with the absence of modern accents, and very distinct and complex
letter shapes), many French natives will have lots of difficulties to recognize
it as French, thinking that this could be written in Latin. They will recognize
that these letters are really beautiful, but will be often intrigated by some of
them, where some letters are misidentified (b/p, o/u/v, d/a, i/n/u...),
Uppercase letters are even more difficult to decipher... This is what appears
with publications with careful typography. The situation is even worse with
manuscript written with a plum (which very similar to the German Sutterlin).
We don't need to go too far in the history to find during WW1 handwritten
letters of soldiers to their family, using letter forms that were commonly
taught in schools at that time (most of these letters are extrermely stable in
their letter forms and carefully drawn, in a typographic view): very difficult
to read by most French natives, despite it is really using the same modern
popular French language and vocabulary as used and understood today...

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