Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: James Kass (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 12:12:39 CDT

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    The Thread From Hell continues.

    Peter Kirk writes,

    > >And we get back to the gist. Is it a separate script? Would it be
    > >fair to ask for documentation that the ancient Phoenicians who used
    > >the script considered it to be a variant of modern Hebrew? (No, it's
    > >not a fair question at all. But, I think it's an appropriate question.)
    > Well, if you asked the ancient Phoenicians this question, of course they
    > would have said "yes" because the script used in their time for Hebrew
    > was very similar to their own script.

    Of course, they'd have said "no" because modern Hebrew didn't exist
    in their time. So, they'd not even know what modern Hebrew was. The
    script used in their time for Hebrew wasn't "very similar to their own
    script"; it *was* their own script. "Palaeo-Hebrew" is a modern term
    and a modern concept.

    > ... Very
    > likely these font developers were simply confused by the licensing rules
    > for Times New Roman.

    Yeah, that's probably it.

    > Well, these Ebionites are not scholars but a revival of an ancient sect
    > somewhere midway between Judaism and Christianity.

    Would you say that none of these Ebionites are scholars?

    > So one thing which this does demonstrate is that there is a community of
    > users other than scholars who are currently encoding paleo-Hebrew texts
    > with Hebrew characters.

    Ever ask yourself why they do this? Is it possible that they do this
    in order to get RTL layout? Is it possible that they do this in order
    to be able to transliterate via fonts absent a standard Phoenician range?

    > Good point. But of course this (alleged) person interested in Phoenician
    > but not Hebrew will not be helped if more than one encoding is permitted
    > for Phoenician. Anyway, this is a case where language tagging should be
    > used rather than a separate script.

    And we use language tagging in plain text how?

    And Phoenician isn't already represented in more than one Unicode encoding?

    > Agreed. And we have now seen that not all non-Semiticists want separate
    > encoding, for it is clear that the Ebionites at least do not.

    And you know this because you've asked the Ebionites?

    > Good point, Peter. No one has yet shown that anyone cannot be served
    > *without* a separately encoded Phoenician script, only that a few people
    > want it.

    Phoenician users can be served with Latin-hack transliteration fonts,
    in other words, without Unicode. But, can they be well-served?

    Best regards,

    James Kass

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