Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 14:38:53 CDT

  • Next message: Patrick Durusau: "Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?"

    Michael Everson wrote:

    >> The numerous and visually varied 22-letter semitic writing
    >> systems all represent the same 22 abstract characters.
    >> The Unicode Standard encodes abstract characters.
    >> Ergo, only one set of codepoints is required to encode the
    >> 22-letter semitic writing systems.

    > Oh, goody. Back to square 1.

    To clarify: I was not positing this syllogism as a new argument, only seeking to express
    as succinctly as possible the underlying logic of the opposition to the Phoenician
    proposal. I don't think this logic is at all unreasonable, any more than I think many of
    the arguments in favour of the proposal are unreasonable. This is why I don't think any
    decision can be made on the basis of argument about the identity of 'scripts': there are
    good arguments for and against different ways of encoding ancient Canaanite writing
    systems. Yes, I think most of this debate has been a waste of time, but not because either
    side is obviously right and the other wrong.

    As stated previously, the only useful question to ask -- and the only sensible target for
    those opposed to the proposal -- is whether there is really a 'need' for plain-text
    distinction of 'Phoenician' from Hebrew and, presumably, from some other forms of ancient
    Near Eastern writing. Patrick has, today, noted the existence of an inscription that
    includes both Punic and Neo-Punic forms: is this a distinction that someone might have a
    'need' to make in plain-text?

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    Typespaces, by Peter Burnhill
    White Mughals, by William Dalrymple
    Hebrew manuscripts of the Middle Ages, by Colette Sirat

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