abstract characters, semantics, meaningful transformations ... Was: Tibetan Paluta
Naena Guru via Unicode
unicode at unicode.org
Tue May 2 11:43:18 CDT 2017
Thank you, professor. You wrote exactly what one would expect from a
professor. It is a wonderful display of your prowess in the subject.
Doctors and lawyers use Latin for concealment and self-preservation.
Greenspan used Greenspanish. Unicode masters use Unicodish.
Indic is the name Unicode assigned to South Asian writing systems that
are associated with Sanskrit vyaakaraNa. This is a result of what the
good professor explains by "Unicode is not the realm of everyone; it's
the realm of people with a certain amount of linguistic knowledge and
computer knowledge". What is that 'certain amount' and which deity
decides it? How do we unfortunate nincompoops decode it? Decode itself
is beyond us, indeed.
South Asians, especially Indians who already seem to have too many gods
to deal with, do not need, though they might be tempted to add an image
of the exalted Unicode god behind a colorful curtain to sing praise to
with an alms box marked M$ besides to get favors each time the high
priest scrubs off some of its 'hairy esoteric mess' while
surreptitiously (or, ignorantly?) adding more.
Brahmins were able to make any declaration because they were privileged.
Similarly, Unicode experts can make declarations like, 'very few forms
of writing are direct transcriptions of speech' and hide behind the 'in
case' adjective 'direct' to avoid giving actual data. Of course, they
can boldly count Sinhala as one that is not a direct transcription of
speech. Speech getting transcribed into writing itself is a Unicodish.
Hark! The professor declares. So, boys and girls, if you want to pass
the test memorize this, even if it is obviously false:
Printing made no difference to the fact that English has a dozen vowels
with five letters to write them. The thorn has little impact on the
ambiguity of English writing. The problem with printing is that it
fossilizes the written language, and our spellings have stayed the same
while the pronunciations have changed. And the dissociation of sound and
writing sometimes helps English; even when two English speakers from
different parts of the world would have trouble understanding each
other, writing is usually not so impaired.
It is printing with the dictionary industry that fossilized writing and
as a result, forced speech to comply. The 'certain' level of knowledge
above is now revealed. Language, dialect, creole, migration, intermixing
of different peoples, accent...; where do these stand? Find ye by the
foregoing what the fossil 'ye' actually was and what caused it to get
fossilized in this form.
On 5/2/2017 5:31 AM, David Starner wrote:
> On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 7:26 AM Naena Guru via Unicode
> <unicode at unicode.org <mailto:unicode at unicode.org>> wrote:
> This whole attempt to make digitizing Indic script some esoteric,
> 'abstract', 'semantic representation' and so on seems to me is an
> attempt to make Unicode the realm of the some super humans.
> Unicode is like writing. At its core, it is a hairy esoteric mess; mix
> these certain chemicals the right ways, and prepare a writing
> implement and writing surface in the right (non-trivial) ways, and
> then manipulate that implement carefully to make certain marks that
> have unclear delimitations between correct and incorrect. But in the
> end, as much of that is removed from the problem of the user as
> possible; in the case of modern word-processing system, it's a matter
> of hitting the keys and then hitting print, in complete ignorance of
> all the silicon and printing magic going on between.
> Unicode is not the realm of everyone; it's the realm of people with a
> certain amount of linguistic knowledge and computer knowledge. There's
> only a problem if those people can't make it usable for the everyday
> programmer and therethrough to the average person.
> The purpose of writing is to represent speech.
> Meh. The purpose of writing is to represent language, which may be
> unrelated to speech (like in the case of SignWriting and mathematics)
> or somewhat related to speech--very few forms of writing are direct
> transcriptions of speech. Even the closest tend to exchange a lot of
> intonation details for punctuation that reveals different information.
> English writing was massacred when printing was brought in from
> No, it wasn't. Printing made no difference to the fact that English
> has a dozen vowels with five letters to write them. The thorn has
> little impact on the ambiguity of English writing. The problem with
> printing is that it fossilizes the written language, and our spellings
> have stayed the same while the pronunciations have changed. And the
> dissociation of sound and writing sometimes helps English; even when
> two English speakers from different parts of the world would have
> trouble understanding each other, writing is usually not so impaired.
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