Re: Tamil Sri / Shri

From: Mahesh T. Pai (
Date: Sat Nov 03 2007 - 09:31:08 CST

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    (A general remark; not just related to the quoted text alone)

    James Kass said on Fri, Nov 02, 2007 at 08:20:02PM -0800,:

    > So, I'm wondering how the symbol which represents the god
    > Luxmi, benevolence, and/or good fortune is used in text.
    > You mention that the other dictionary also uses the same form.
    > Do the words listed in Pic1 ever get written using the symbol
    > at the top of Pic1?

    1. Background:-

    Two-three weeks back, I had taken a rather long holiday and was holed
    up at a remote place, far, far, away from technology.

    There were two native speakers of Tamil with me, and neither was a
    "student" of Tamil in any sense. They were just ordinary "users" of
    the language. One was based in Chennai (aka Madras), the other was at
    Avanashi, near Coimbatore, and hence was familiar with Malayalam.

    2. What I learned:-

    a. Tamil writing is very different from speaking. In several situations,
    Tamil does use same glyph/character to represent several sounds, and
    the user has to guess the correct pronunciation from the context. This
    is distinct from the Malayalam writing (according to the guy from
    Avanashi) where writing tends to follow the spoken sound as closely as
    possible."Vaamozhi is different from varamozhi" is the exact word he

    He gave illustrations also - "sivan", "laxmi" etc are written using
    the "sa" as in "sapta (seven)"; but the user has to pronounce it as in
    "shear". There are glyphs for the "sh" sound in Tamil; but that glyph
    is an 'invention' for writing Sanskrit words.

    b. Some kind of script reform has taken place within past 3-4
    decades. I was shown a book - "Bhajanavali", published from Chennai
    (Mylapore) by some organisation related to Satya Sai Baba. The word
    "bhajanavali" was printed differently on the cover page and
    inside. The "ii" marker was a bit like the "ii" marker in the images
    of both "Sri" above, and "na" glyph was a bit like Old script
    Malayalam "nu".

     Mahesh T. Pai <<>>
    A: Because it fouls thef order in which people normally read text.
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    A: Top-posting.
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