Re: Phoenician

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue May 11 2004 - 10:25:57 CDT

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    At 07:43 -0700 2004-05-10, Peter Kirk wrote:
    >On 08/05/2004 08:19, Michael Everson wrote:
    >>Professional Semiticists are not the only surviving cultural owners
    >>of the world's Middle Eastern historical cultural heritage.
    >Nor are you, Michael, or even you and your Indo-Europeanist friends.
    >So listen to the rest of us, and we will listen to you.

    I listened. I rejected the unification. I was right to do so. I have
    heard your arguments for "unifying" the two scripts in filing. I
    reject those too as being unsuitable for the default template.

    >But have the others agreed with his judgments because they are
    >convinced of their correctness?

    One suspects so.

    >Or is it more that the others have trusted the judgments of the one
    >they consider to be an expert, and have either not dared to stand up
    >to him or have simply been unqulified to do so?

    If I have a reputation for expertise it is because I have earned it,
    Mr Kirk, by years of work.

    >It amazes me that all of the existing scripts have apparently been
    >encoded without any properly documented justification apart from one
    >expert's unchallenged judgments.


    >And these two cases are hardly a good advertisement for the expert's
    >reputation. The Coptic/Greek unification proved to be ill-advised
    >and is being undone.

    I didn't unify them. I disunified them.

    >As for the unified W and Q, well, I guess that if the Kurds and
    >others who use these letters in Cyrillic knew how this decision
    >would mean that their alphabet will never be sorted correctly
    >(unless they get round to tailoring their collations), they would
    >make a strongly argued case for disunification.

    A great many of the characters and scripts in the Unicode Standard
    would not be there now if we waited for the world's minorities to
    find out about the Standard and to learn about the arduous
    standardization process. Some have suggested that those minorities
    are fortunate to have an advocate at all.

    It is certainly not the case that the Kurds were consulted about the
    unification of two of their letters with Latin letters. It was an
    arbitrary, and in my view bad, decision taken by someone in the UTC
    long ago; it violates what I understand to be the "rules" of
    alphabetic borrowing and naturalization.

    >Well, perhaps the expert can feel how much his fingers have been
    >burned by over-unification and so is now pressing for everything to
    >be disunified.


    On 2004-05-02, Michael Everson wrote:

    >>Mr Kirk, while you seem to enjoy baiting me and going out of your
    >>way to find my "feet of clay", I didn't "fail" to do any such
    >>thing. I shall take this up on another message on this thread. In
    >>the meantime, please be advised that if you persist in this kind of
    >>discourse with me I shall be perfectly content to add you to my
    >>ignore list and say "adieu". You are welcome to consider me an
    >>arrogant bastard if you wish, but I am more interested in the work
    >>of encoding all of the scripts of the world in the Universal
    >>Character Set than in fending off pot-shots about my expertise or
    >>whether my opinion "counts".

    Adieu, Mr Kirk.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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