Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: James Kass (
Date: Sat May 22 2004 - 18:49:10 CDT

  • Next message: Mark E. Shoulson: "Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?"

    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. Will they
    > be allowed to do that after a Phoenician block is defined, or will they
    > not?

    They'd simply use what's been called a "transliteration font" for this

    In order to effect the change, they'd probably have to "click" a
    "button" or two. Indeed, if they wanted to transliterate *and*
    "trans-code", they'd have to click a button or two, too.

    In other words, the end-user's burden for either approach would
    be about the same, a couple of clicks.

    From a programming point of view, it's about as easy to re-map
    an existing font for masquerade/transliteration purposes as it is
    to write a character set conversion routine.

    Once again, for the end-user, the trouble involved should be about
    the same. In one case they install a font (font program), in the
    other case they install a character set conversion program.

    > OK, if you want to be picky, "Dr Kaufman's response makes it clear that
    > to at least one professional in the field Everson's proposal is not just
    > questionable but ridiculous."

    I'd thought that was what you meant. My originally rhetorical
    question was only meant to point this out, it was not an attempt
    to slur Dr Kaufman.

    English is slippery, sometimes precision is useful. On the other
    hand, sometimes precision just adds to the verbosity of a post.

    > The Phoenician proposal was offensive to him (as I see the situation),
    > so he causes offence in return. It's called "tit-for-tat".

    Fair enough.

    I found his post offensive because (as I see the situation) he
    cavalierly dismissed the proposal without going into specifics
    or giving/citing evidence. There was no substance to his
    post, and that was offensive. It's difficult to respond to a
    post with no substance. His derogatory remark that anyone
    supporting the proposal couldn't possibly know "Jack" about
    Unicode and glyphs was fatuous, particularly when an examination
    of his web site reveals antiquarian code page use, a throwback to
    the past century. (smile)

    (English is slippery. Whether the use of "cavalierly" above
    should be interpreted as 'like a gentleman' or 'with arrogance'
    would be a matter of opinion.)

    > 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.

    As others have pointed out, the very situation you wish to avoid
    already exists. Some work is transliterated into Latin, some into
    Hebrew. It wouldn't surprise if Greek and Cyrillic transliteration
    wasn't practiced, as well. Also, there are conflicting code pages
    for Hebrew still in use, apparently.

    Either way things end up, the end-user just has to click a
    couple of buttons. Where's the problem?

    Best regards,

    James Kass

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