Why do the Hebrew Alphabetic Presentation Forms Exist

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Tue Jun 9 11:44:01 CDT 2020

To respond to Mark, I’d say that these examples here certainly show a fairly obvious glyph distinction that is not really a “hard sell”.

> On 8 Jun 2020, at 18:45, Abraham Gross via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
> Unicode encodes characters that other character sets have even though it normally wouldn't. So if I find a character set with a folded lamed they'd add it?
> Here are 2 character sets with a folded lamed:
> https://i.imgur.com/iq8awBe.jpg – an אלף בינה with the standing and folded lameds as separate letters.
> https://www.tug.org/TUGboat/tb15-3/tb44haralambous-hebrew.pdf#page=12 – A TeX typesetting module with the standing and folded lameds as separate characters for fine-grain control when the automatic system doesn't work.
> 2020年6月7日 10:27, "Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode" <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
>> On 6/7/20 7:46 AM, Richard Wordingham via Unicode wrote:
>> I agree.  Sorry, pretty typography is nice and everything, but if bent LAMED is anything, it's at
>> best a presentation form (and even that is a hard sell.)  You show ANYONE a word spelled with any
>> combination of bent and straight LAMEDs and ask how it's spelled, they'll just say "LAMED" for each
>> one.  Unicode encodes different *characters*, symbols that have a different *meaning* in text, not
>> things that happen to look different.  A U+05BA HOLAM HASER FOR VAV means not just "a dot like
>> U+05B9 only shifted over a little," it means that there is something *different* going on: VAV plus
>> HOLAM usually means one thing (a VAV as mater lectionis for an /o/ vowel), this is a consonantal
>> VAV followed by a vowel.  In spelling it out, you could call one a holam malé, but not the other. 
>> A QAMATS QATAN is not just a qamats that looks a little different, it is a grammatically distinct
>> character, and moreover one that cannot be deduced algorithmically by looking at the letters around
>> it.  What you're talking about is a LAMED and a LAMED.  They are two *glyphs* for the same
>> character, and Unicode doesn't encode glyphs (anymore?)
>> ~mark

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