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Re: Back to basics - or musings of an old bore
> 1) It would be a cruel prank of nature indeed if the numerical
> similarity of h1 and h2 between the Mss and Genesis in English
> enciphered with a verbose cipher based on Tiltman's prefixes and
> suffixes were mere coincidence,
I don't know... Tiltman's elements are parts of common Voynichese
words, several letters long. If you combine them in any semi-random
way, the letter and digraph frequencies of the resulting text should
still be similar to those of Voynichese. Hence the h1 and h2 entropes
are expected to be similar, too.
You should try encoding other texts with widely varying entropies,
including random gibberish, to see whether English still gives
the best fit.
> 2) The writing appears too fluid to be something as clunky as a
> codebook. The scribes were relatively fluent (to different
> degrees) in writing text in whatever system was involved.
This is a good point. All I can think of:
* The only handwriting expert whose opinion we have
stated quite flatly that there was only one scribe.
* The standard Chinese writing system is essentially a codebook
cipher, yet zillions of people have learned to write it fluently
and quickly, without looking at the "code book".
* The VMS at Beinecke may be a clean copy of a clunky
> I really wish we knew more about what Manly had in mind when he
> said the Mss was in "a comparatively simple cipher disguised by
> extensive use of nulls." The next time someone is at Yale it
> would be useful if they'd look at this 20 Mar 1920 letter to
> Mrs. Voynich.
I would not put too much hope on that "solution"; it sounds like
another case of self-delusion.
All the best,