Re: Back to Coptic (was: Demystifying the Politburo)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri Jul 08 2005 - 12:40:08 CDT

  • Next message: Patrick Andries: "Re: Back to Coptic (was: Demystifying the Politburo)"

    Michael Everson wrote:

    > Not at all. If a person wishes to encode an abbreviation for COIS, there
    > are many to choose from. He may choose to type C + O + BAR + S + BAR, or
    > he may choose to type CS + BAR, or he may choose to type O + BAR + S +
    > BAR. If he chooses to type CS and leave the bar off, then he may not be
    > representing what is actually in his text.

    > It is foolishness -- yes, foolishness -- to suggest that it makes sense
    > to have *all* abbreviations in Coptic which take abbreviation bars to be
    > encoded with a standalone letter plus a BAR *except* for this one where
    > the bar happens to go over a standardized ligature symbol. We have
    > encoded that primitive symbol as what it is, and we expect that in
    > normal use it will be followed by a BAR in the encoding. The encoding
    > model for Coptic does not pre-compose either abbreviataion bars or the
    > syllabic bars. And it doesnt do so for the SHIMA SIMA SYMBOL either.

    > I have already explained why John's suggestion should not be followed,
    > but I will repeat it again here. Coptic abbreviations using the
    > abbreviation mark are to be encoded by explicitly using the abbreviation
    > bar. If your font draws the SYMBOL SHIMA SIMA with a precomposed bar,
    > then you will risk seeing two bars when you receive *correctly* encoded
    > Coptic text, say on a Copticist's web site.

    I basically agree, and withdraw my suggestion. The risk of seeing two bars would be easily
    avoided in a font that included the bar in the SHIMA SIMA glyph, but I accept Michael's
    argument about consistency within Coptic *as encoded*. If I'd been involved earlier, I
    might have queried the need for the SHIMA SIMA character at all, but there it is, and
    Michael's argument that it should be handled the same way as other Coptic bases with
    regard to the combining abbreviation bar is reasonable.

    Ashraf, even if the two things to which you've brought our attention are from some
    perspective 'mistakes', I think they have so little practical problematic impact that it
    is reasonable to accept them on the basis that, from other perspectives, they make some
    sense and have a consistency.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    Truth and tolerance, by Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger as was
    War (revised edition), by Gwynne Dyer
    God's secret agents, by Alice Hogge

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