RE: Why Fraktur is irrelevant (was RE: Fraktur Legibility (was Re: Response to Everson Phoenician)

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Tue May 25 2004 - 15:36:57 CDT

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    > From: [] On Behalf
    > Of Dean Snyder

    > >[Legibility] is not the only consideration in whether we do unify
    > >characters, however, and the situation wrt Fraktur does not tell us
    > >anything additional that pertains to that issue.
    > But the alleged illegibility issue has been raised multiple times as
    > being somehow important in the decision making process. I am only
    > pointing out that it should be applied judiciously, and I don't believe
    > it is currently being so applied by some.

    OK, let us summarize, then:

    The legibility situation for PH vis--vis square Hebrew is similar to the Fraktur situation:

    - The average speaker of Modern Hebrew (or other language written in square Hebrew) finds PH text to be illegible. A relatively small population -- some / all experts in Semitic paleography -- has no difficulty with Hebrew-language text presented using PH glyphs.

    - The majority of users of Latin script cannot read Fraktur, but there is a small sub-population that can.

    The situation wrt perceptions regarding character identity for PH is not the same as the Fraktur situation:

    - In the case of Fraktur, *all* of the Fraktur-using sub-population consider these to be Latin characters. (Separate characters encoded for math usage, along with other counterparts in other Latin styles, are irrelevant here.)

    - In the case of PH, some / all Semitic paleographers consider these to be the same characters as square Hebrew characters. There are others, however, who do not.

    Can we agree to drop the discussion of Fraktur now?

    Peter Constable
    Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
    Microsoft Windows Division

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