Avoidance variants

Asmus Freytag (t) asmus-inc at ix.netcom.com
Thu Mar 26 10:12:13 CDT 2015

On 3/25/2015 10:14 PM, Jonathan Rosenne wrote:
> “It's still a HEH, it just looks like another letter, right?” Wrong. 
> It’s a QOF. Just like the p in receipt is a p. Unicode should not 
> concern itself with the reasons words are spelt the way they are spelt.

Identifying deliberate misspellings as such is a matter of markup. In 
other citations, one would use human readable mark-up (that is add 
"[sic]"), but in other contexts it might be useful to make a term 
searchable by providing identifying markup; what the protocol for that 
would be, I don't know, but character encoding, as Jony suggests, is 
surely the wrong level for dealing with issues of orthography.

> Best Regards,
> Jonathan Rosenne
> *From:*Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at unicode.org] *On Behalf Of 
> *Mark E. Shoulson
> *Sent:* Thursday, March 26, 2015 4:31 AM
> *To:* unicode at unicode.org
> *Subject:* Avoidance variants
> 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 ידודor ידוהand so on.  There's 
> an example in the paper that shows אלדיםinstead of אלהים.  Much more 
> common today would be אלקיםand 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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