Re: Hooks and Curls and Bars, oh my (was: New contribution)

From: Ernest Cline (
Date: Thu May 06 2004 - 21:34:43 CDT

> [Original Message]
> From: D. Starner <>
> "Ernest Cline" <> writes:
> > In dubious hopes of ending this argument, let me offer up the following
> > thought experiment. Normal Latin script, Gaelic, and Fraktur while they
> > have all diverged to a certain extent, have not diverged to the point
> > where additions made to one of them is unimplementable on the other.
> > To wit, altho the various hooked, curled, and barred letters added to
> > the normal Latin script to accommodate other languages could be
> > implemented in Gaelic or Fraktur. LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH CURL
> > would look peculiar in Gaelic, but it looks peculiar in normal Latin
> > and it would be distinctively recognizable as such to anyone who
> > knew both Gaelic and normal Latin.
> I don't buy it. If you are creative enough, of course you can add new
> letters to any script. I could add LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH CURL to
> Arabic, too. On the flip side, there are many Latin letters that don't
> fit with all Latin fonts. When U-breve was written in Sutterlin, it
> was effectively unified with U. When IPA tap is written in my personal
> handwriting, it's unified with r. Many fonts write i and g like dotless i
> and script g. As is, many Latin letters require a specialized font to
> distinguish between other Latin letters.

I wasn't aware that there was an ARABIC SMALL LETTER D to add
a curl to, but I will concede one point, as I wasn't intending to dip into
pool of phonetic symbols and wanted to stick with just those Latin
letters that are used as letters, but the curls are at present just used
phonetically (Altho there is nothing to eliminate the possibility of
a future LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D WITH CURL being designed
upon the same principle.) (Besides, I think unifying the phonetic
symbols with Latin was a mistake done solely to ease the transition
from legacy encodings.)

Still, even with potential glyph unifications of distinct characters,
if Phoenician is unifiable with Hebrew, one should be able
to come up with a system for Phoenician that would incorporate
the richness of the Hebrew point and cantilation marks. I'm not saying
that it can't be done; I don't know enough about the scripts to say that.
I am saying that unless it can be done, unification would be a mistake.

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