Re: Multiple Directions (was: Re: Coptic/Greek (Re: Phoenician))

From: Andrew C. West (
Date: Mon May 17 2004 - 10:51:46 CDT

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    ('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is) ('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is) On Mon, 17 May 2004 10:12:50 -0400, John Cowan wrote:
    > Andrew C. West scripsit:
    > > Thus, if "tb-lr" were supported, your browser would display the
    > > following HTML line as vertical Mongolian with embedded Ogham reading
    > > top-to-bottom, but in a plain text editor, the Mongolian and Ogham
    > > would both read LTR, and everyone would be happy :
    > I don't know about that. I wouldn't be too happy trying to read English
    > with the Latin letters laid out bt-rl and lying on their left sides to boot.
    > On paper is one thing, but on a non-rotatable screen? I don't think so.

    I think you may have misunderstood me. I'm now suggesting that perhaps Ogham
    shouldn't be rendered bottom-to-top when embedded in vertical text such as
    Mongolian, but top-to-bottom as is the case with other LTR scripts such as
    Latin, as shown in the attached screen shot from an HTML page, where the
    embedded Ogham and Latin text both read LTR down the page if you tilt your head
    sideways. I don't know whether you're happy reading Latin text as displayed in
    this example, but this is the normal way of embedding short sections of Latin
    script (e.g. proper names) in vertical text, and I don't know of any better way
    to deal with embedding horizontal scripts in vertical text.

    Likewise, when you embed Mongolian in horizontal text (which is also quite
    common), you have to tilt your head sideways to read the Mongolian. I don't
    think there's any way round the head-tilting business when mixing vertical and
    horizontal scripts. Note that I'm talking about embedding single words or short
    phrases in text with a different orientation. Of course for long passages of
    both vertical and horizontal text, each script should be laid out in separate
    vertical and horizontal blocks.


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