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Re: Back to basics - or musings of an old bore

Jorge Stolfi wrote:

>     > [Karl] 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".

Yes, but it takes years to achieve this.
Now another tonal language using (as far as I know) mostly mono-syllabic
words, is Thai. It has an alphabetic script, which was devised not 
long before the proposed date of the VMs, and the script has a 
way of indicating the tones (although, again as far as I know,
in a rather incosistent manner). 
#consider_included "chinese_disclaimer.h" 

>   * The VMS at Beinecke may be a clean copy of a clunky
>     working draft.

Or the scribe just practiced a lot beforehand...

>     > 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.

Like Fermat? Do we really know what he was on to when he wrote his
famous last theorem?

Cheers, Rene