Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sat May 22 2004 - 18:20:48 CDT

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    At 15:47 -0700 2004-05-22, Peter Kirk wrote:

    >As I understand it, what at least a number of Semitic scholars want
    >to do is not to transliterate, but to represent Phoenician texts
    >with Phoenician letters with the Unicode Hebrew characters, and
    >fonts with Phoenician glyphs at the Hebrew character code points. In
    >other words, to treat the difference between Hebrew and Phoenician
    >as a font change, like the difference between Fraktur and normal
    >Latin script.

    More hearsay! Who has offered any evidence of this? No one. By far
    and away the most of the printed texts I have seen by Semiticists
    either transliterate into Square Hebrew or Latin. The Imprimerie
    Nationale and others did cut Phoenician types for setting passages of
    Phoenician texts, and many books on the history of the Greek, Old
    Italic, and Latin alphabets use Phoenician glyphs in line in text, of
    course, but those aren't Semiticist.

    >Will they be allowed to do that after a Phoenician block is defined,
    >or will they not? If the answer is that they will not, this
    >justifies the objection that a new Phoenician block interferes with
    >the work of the real experts in the field, in order to meet the not
    >very clearly defined requirements of a few non-experts.

    I consider this to be a theoretical construct on your part. Most
    Semiticists use Square Hebrew because they read Hebrew. I don't
    believe they are making Phoenican fonts to view the Phoenician data
    in their databases. They are just writing the stuff with Hebrew
    letters. I have yet to see a Phoenician font of the kind that you
    posit here.

    And Dean's suggestion that "most people use Hebrew and Phoenician
    alike in ASCII clones" is not worth consideration as a reason to
    "unify" Hebrew and Phoenician.

    >If a few people encode a significant number of texts according to
    >their preferences, this implies a corpus in mixed encodings, which
    >is what I am trying to avoid.

    FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME, Anyone working in the field is going to have
    to deal with the corpus being available for searching in LATIN
    transliteration ANYWAY.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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