Re: Exemplar Characters

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Wed Nov 16 2005 - 11:02:19 CST

  • Next message: Mark E. Shoulson: "Re: Exemplar Characters"

    Christopher JS Vance wrote:

    > On Tue, Nov 15, 2005 at 09:52:12PM -0800, Doug Ewell wrote:
    >> I tend to think of this as a religious war. There will always be those
    >> who feel English can be written perfectly well with straight ASCII, and
    >> others who feel it cannot be written properly without curly quotes and
    >> arrows and symbols and at least four types of dashes and every Latin
    >> letter used in a loanword or name that appears in an English sentence.
    >> [1] These two groups will never agree on what the "exemplar" characters
    >> for a given language are.
    > The letters taught as their alphabet (or other type of repertoire) to
    > school students with that first language would prima facie be correct.
    > It's up to the speakers of the language concerned to decide whether
    > something is a letter or letter-plus-accent, and we know these
    > decisions are inconsistent between languages, and sometimes even in
    > the same language across time.

    Even that may not be enough. I'm starting to agree with Doug. You have
    to learn the vowel-points when you learn Hebrew, and while I'm not 100%
    sure that I agree with Jony that they should not be considered Exemplar
    characters, he definitely has a point. Certainly in ordinary text you'll
    see maybe three or four vowel-points on a page (at most!) And they don't
    fit into the model of letter vs. letter+accent; under that model does
    the accent itself deserve to be considered a character in its own right?


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