Avoidance variants

Andrew Cunningham lang.support at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 21:40:17 CDT 2015

Or is it a markup issue rather than something for plain text?

On 26 March 2015 at 13:30, Mark E. Shoulson <mark at kli.org> wrote:

>  So, not much in the way of discussion regarding the TETRAGRAMMATON issue
> I raised the other week.  OK; someone'll eventually get to it I guess.
> Another thing I was thinking about, while toying with Hebrew fonts.
> Often, letters are substituted in _nomina sacra_ in order to avoid writing
> a holy name, much as the various symbols for the tetragrammaton are used.
> And indeed, sometimes they're used in that name too, as I mentioned, usages
> like ידוד or ידוה and so on.  There's an example in the paper that shows
> אלדים instead of אלהים.  Much more common today would be אלקים and in fact
> people frequently even pronounce it that way (when it refers to big-G God,
> in non-sacred contexts.  But for little-g gods, the same word is pronounced
> without the avoidance, because it isn't holy.  It's weird.)
> I wonder if it makes sense maybe to encode not a codepoint, but a variant
> sequence(s) to represent this sort of "defaced" or "altered" letter HEH.
> It's still a HEH, it just looks like another letter, right? (QOF or DALET
> or occasionally HET)  That would keep some consistency to the spelling.  On
> the other hand, the spelling with a QOF is already well entrenched in texts
> all over the internet.  But maybe it isn't right.  And what about the use
> of ה׳ or ד׳ for the tetragrammaton?  Are they both HEHs, one "altered", or
> is one really a DALET?  Any thoughts?
> (and seriously, what to do about all those tetragrammaton symbols?)
> ~mark
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Andrew Cunningham
Project Manager, Research and Development
(Social and Digital Inclusion)
Public Libraries and Community Engagement
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph: +61-3-8664-7430
Mobile: 0459 806 589
Email: acunningham at slv.vic.gov.au
          lang.support at gmail.com

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