RE: Fish (was Re: Marks)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Sep 28 2007 - 19:50:45 CDT

  • Next message: William J Poser: "RE: Fish (was Re: Marks)"

    Asmus Freytag wrote:
    > PS: any proposal, even for the fish, has to show usage in text. For the
    > fish, I'm sure that can be found, at least if text is construed as
    > "printed matter", if not exactly always in-line.

    This article is a good start for the history of the Christian Fish symbol:

    It's just the basic outline, with just two crossing parentheses, the first
    curve being drawn by someone asking where he recognizes the symbol, the
    second one drawing the second line to draw the fish. So this would be the
    representative glyph encoded, without any countless variations (may be the
    fish tail could be terminated with a final vertical stroke).

    So the symbol says this is a personal commitment to follow the commandments
    of Jesus Christ, God's Son and Savior... The Christian cross is a more
    modern creation meaning that Jesus Christ died for those who believe in him,
    but we believe in its resurrection and he is everywhere with God his father,
    and we can follow the same path, this is more a very demonstrative memorial
    heraldic symbol than the fish which is more mystic and whose meaning is
    hidden except to those that have been initiated to the message.

    That's why the fish is commonly found within Christian graves rather than
    outside of them, or within old constructions, on jewelry (that can be
    hidden). Finding texts from the first 3 centuries AD may be difficult,
    except possibly in North Africa where the first churches have most
    successfully spread in the Roman Empire, without much risks of persecution.

    > For the derived counter-symbols, I've only ever seen them on cars.
    > You'll have to figure out the unification though.

    Why unifying these countless uses? Given that there's no standard in this
    case, because the possible glyphs are then countless, and your examples show
    many decorations exhibiting other letters or words in them, which make sense
    only in English. Even if one wanted to compose these countless logos, they
    could first reuse the symbol, but would need to associate other letters in a
    complex layout, something that is then absolutely not plain-text but a
    bidimensional figure with complex layout. I can't figure out how you would
    encode all of them distinctly and rationally within a chart.

    So my main idea was about a very basic fish symbol (no idea about its wished
    orientation: to the left or to the right? May be it does not matter in this
    case, any glyph showing a basic fish would be convenient for the character,
    unless someone demonstrates that the meaning is different, which I don't
    think so, even for Christians.)

    Anyway this is a possible Christian fish: <><
    This is another: ><>

    May be these ASCII-Art symbols are found today in some online chats and used
    mystically rather than figuratively with an explicit cross, and associated
    with replaceable emoticons for those Christians that recognize it. In that
    case they play the same role as the original old symbol, used this time in

    I wonder how you will draw a "Darwin fish" with a similar symbolism, without
    having to write the word "Darwin" explicitly in it. Or you'll have to draw
    the small feet! <><

    And I wonder why you would need to hide it. Because of some US "churches"
    that spread antidarwinism, reject evolution (against all scientists) and
    even militate against teaching it in US schools? Do you fear
    antievolutionists in US so much that you'd need to use mystic symbols to
    defend science?

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