Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Sat May 22 2004 - 21:41:04 CDT

  • Next message: Jony Rosenne: "RE: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?"

    Peter Kirk wrote:

    > The fear is rather that a few people, who are not true Semitic
    > scholars, will embrace the new range, and by doing so will make things
    > much harder for the majority who don't need and don't want the new
    > encoding. One of the original purposes of Unicode was to move away
    > from the old situation in which many different incompatible encodings
    > were used for the same language and script. We don't want to get back
    > into that situation.

    That's awfully elitist, isn't it? "Some *non*-scholars want it (if
    they'll embrace it, it follows that they'd want it if offered), but we
    can't be swayed by the desires of the hoi polloi." Non-scholars get to
    use Unicode too, and have a right to influence what gets in it. Just
    because the userbase isn't the people you thought it would be doesn't
    mean they don't count.

    > On 21/05/2004 06:22, saqqara wrote:
    >> ... Apparently, the majority view here and elsewhere seems to be that
    >> Phoenician is a distinctive script family. If so, then the only
    >> issues are those factual elements of Michaels proposal and there is
    >> no need to continue the discussion here of whether it is needed at all.
    > Actually, this is not the majority view, at least here. It is the
    > repeatedly expressed view of one script expert, and a few others have
    > supported him (although many of these know little about the script),
    > but the number of those who have disagreed seems to be larger, and
    > that includes most of the experts on Semitic scripts who have
    > expressed an opinion.

    And more elitism. And also inaccuracy. I note that you are pleased to
    count Michael Everson and everyone else together as "one script expert
    [(and his supporters)]." That's weak math for voting. What's more,
    we've heard from a few other people (e.g. S. George Khalaf) who support
    a separate Phoenician. And not a single Hebrew-reader I spoke to,
    native or not, could even conceive of Paleo-Hebrew being a font-variant
    of Hebrew. They found the proposition laughable.

    I don't think the "majority vs. one or two malcontents" picture that
    you're drawing here is even vaguely reminiscent of reality.


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