Re: Phoenician, Fraktur etc

From: Otto Stolz (
Date: Thu May 27 2004 - 10:13:55 CDT

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    I am German, and I read both Roman (Antiqua) and Fraktur equally
    fluently. Hence I think, I have to correct some wrong claims
    issued in this thread.

    Peter Kirk wrote:
    > A. Most Germans read texts in upper case Latin characters fluently.
    > (assumed)


    Texts in all upper-case Latin characters are read by far less fluently
    than the usual spelling in mixed case.

    > B. Most Germans cannot read texts in upper case Fraktur characters.
    > (partly demonstrated by Dean and apparently accepted by all)

    Completely irrelevant.

    Fraktur characters are not designed to be used in all upper-case text
    as has been stated before, in this thread. Nobody is used to this sort
    of pseudo script; hence, nobody will read it fluently. This observation
    renders the whole Uppercase-Fraktur issue pointless.

    > C. [...] (derived from A and B)
    > D. [...] (derived from C)

    With the propositions proved wrong, this whole chain of reasoning
    breaks down.

    > K. [Dependent on I] Upper case Fraktur should be encoded separately from
    > Latin (derived from D and I)

    No way!

    Roman (aka Antiqua) and Fraktur are used to write the same language
    (e. g. German) with the same orthography. As there is no particular
    encoding for Fraktur, the very same text can be displayed in either
    Roman or Fraktur without recoding it. I do not want this isomorphy
    to be broken.

    These two variants of the Latin script are really not so different
    as some contributors in this thread are assuming. I have learned
    to read Fraktur without formal training: As most books available
    when I learned to read (in 1949) were set in Fraktur, I just read
    them (though at school we had books set in Antiqua).

    I think that the case of old Phoenician vs. Hebrew is different, as
    there is no underlying common language and orthography -- but then
    I do know next to nothing about these scripts, so do not take this
    latter remark too seriously.

    Best wishes,
       Otto Stolz

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