Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 15:50:15 CDT

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    At 12:38 -0700 2004-05-24, John Hudson wrote:
    >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.

    Fine. The counter-argument was given, but it was deleted by you:

    A strong tradition of scholarship considers Phoenician to be
    antecedent to a number of scripts, including Greek and the form of
    Aramaic which gave rise to Square Hebrew (which has given rise to a
    great typographic tradition of its own). That tradition does not
    consider all of these numerous and visually-varied 22-letter Semitic
    writing systems to be abstract glyph variants of a single underlying
    structure. It distinguishes them clearly in the same "some of these
    things are not like the others" way that is a criterion for plain
    text representation, certainly for the group of scholars -- and
    educators and other enthusiasts -- which makes this distinction.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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