Standaridized variation sequences for the Desert alphabet?

Michael Everson everson at
Fri Mar 24 09:37:51 CDT 2017

On 24 Mar 2017, at 11:34, Martin J. Dürst <duerst at> wrote:
> On 2017/03/23 22:48, Michael Everson wrote:
>> Indeed I would say to John Jenkins and Ken Beesley that the richness of the history of the Deseret alphabet would be impoverished by treating the 1859 letters as identical to the 1855 letters.
> Well, I might be completely wrong, but John Jenkins may be the person on this list closest to an actual user of Deseret (John, please correct me if I'm wrong one way or another).

He is. He transcribes texts into Deseret. I’ve published three of them (Alice, Looking-Glass, and Snark).

> It may be that actual users of Deseret read these character variants the same way most of us would read serif vs. sans-serif variants: I.e. unless we are designers or typographers, we don't actually consciously notice the difference.

I am a designer and typographer, and I’ve worked rather extensively with a variety of Deseret fonts for my publications. They have been well-received. 

> If that's the case, it would be utterly annoying to these actual users to have to make a distinction between two characters where there actually is none.

Actually neither of the ligature-letters are used in our Carrollian Deseret volumes. 

> The richness of the history of the Deseret alphabet can still be preserved e.g. with different fonts the same way we have thousands of different fonts for Latin and many other scripts that show a lot of rich history.

You know, Martin, I *have* been doing this for the last two decades. I’m well aware of what a font is and can do. I’m also aware of what principles we have used for determining character identity.

I saw your note about CJK. Unification there typically has something to do with character origin and similarity. The Deseret diphthong letters are clearly based on ligatures of *different* characters. 

Michael Everson

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