Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 12:19:42 CDT

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?"

    At 08:41 -0700 2004-05-24, Peter Kirk wrote:

    >But if it had been defined and your small group had started to
    >publish widely with it, it would have made things more difficult for
    >those who preferred Klingon in Latin script. For example, they would
    >have to do double searches of the archives of Klingon publications
    >for the articles they wanted.

    That is your unproved assertion, and ignores the fact that your
    precious databases and archives already include multiscript
    representation of the languages you study. This insistance that your
    work will be "damaged" by the presence of Phoenician code positions
    is as untenable as it was when you first made it.

    >I have listened to the three, or mostly to one of the three (and a
    >few people like you who support him but are not users) patiently and
    >repeatedly for the last month or more. All I have heard are the same
    >unconvincing arguments and appeals to his own authority.

    I see the apology is rescinded too, and it is back to ad-hominem.

    >There is no consensus that this Phoenician proposal is necessary. I
    >and others have also put forward several mediating positions e.g.
    >separate encoding with compatibility decompositions

    Which was rejected by Ken for good technical reasons.

    >and with interleaved collation,

    Which was rejected for the default template (and would go against the
    practices already in place in the default template) but is available
    to you in your tailorings.

    >also encoding as variation sequences,

    Which was rejected by Ken and others for good technical reasons, not
    the least of which was the p%r%e%p%o%s%t%e%r%o%u%s%n%e%s%s% of
    interleaving Hebrew text in order to get Phoenician glyphs.

    >but the only response I get amounts to "No, because Phoenician is a
    >separate script, because I say so and this is the right thing to do".

    It is a pity that the facts are not obvious to you. It is clear that
    you don't want Phoenician to be a separate script, and you grasp at
    straws trying to "make" an encoded Phoenician into Hebrew.

    >I am not disregarding the needs of the three. But the three, or one
    >of them, insist that the needs of four (and probably considerably
    >more) must be disregarded, and won't even discuss mediating

    The technical solutions you have proposed have been inadequate.

    >Yes, you are right, I did say that. It is the continued bad
    >arguments of those in favour of the proposal, "fanning the flames of
    >argument by saying the same thing over and over again", which have
    >made me reconsider, because I refuse to associate myself with their

    Perhaps I should not have taken the bait that one of the
    unificationists set out. For that I apologize.

    >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.

    That's why Palaeo-Hebrew and Hebrew are unified.

    >The change to square script took place only after the Phoenicians
    >had more or less lost their identity in their original homeland,
    >although it was still used for a few centuries in and around

    It is the later Square Script which has been encoded. We propose to
    encode other historically important, named, recognized nodes on the
    tree of scripts. This isn't difficult to understand.

    >Thank you, Peter, for checking on these fonts, and for providing for
    >us all the evidence

    Some evidence. This is not a show-stopper. I was only asking Dean to
    back up his claims.

    >that Michael was asking Dean for, that there does exist fonts with
    >"Phoenician" glyphs for Unicode Hebrew characters.

    It is not surprising that someone has done this, of course. It is no
    different from the Latin clones that others have used. I also thank
    Peter for coming up with the goods, since Dean was unable to back up
    his claim.

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

    Far likelier that they ignored them.

    >Well, these Ebionites are not scholars but a revival of an ancient
    >sect somewhere midway between Judaism and Christianity. Of course
    >scholars are free to use their fonts, if copyright permits.
    >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.

    Of course, they don't have an alternative. It's a Latin hack or a
    Hebrew hack. Indeed, they do both.

    >But no one has answered my case about searching the Internet or
    >other sets of texts from various sources.

    I have. Dozens of times. You have to take transliteration into account already.

    >If this is not difficult, will Microsoft provide such conversion or
    >retrieval software, e.g. by supporting customised collation?

    Take that up with your vendors. The UCA *is* intended to be
    tailorable, and all the vendors know it.

    >But of course this (alleged) person interested in Phoenician but not
    >Hebrew will not be helped if more than one encoding is permitted for

    The kind of rhetoric you use is dishonest. "Alleged"? We have had the
    owner of express his support.

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

    I do not come to that conclusion from the analysis of that font.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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