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From: Luis Vélez <legal1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 00:44:53 -0400
Subject: Re: VMs: suggestion on the author of the Voynich manuscript
On Walsingham's spying activities in the Elizabethan Age:
> The world of a spy was not, however, one of glamour and intrigue. Many spies
> were ambitious undergraduates recruited from Oxford and Cambridge who saw this
> as a route to fame and fortune. But the reality was quite different. Long
> journeys, low pay and the logistical difficulties of delivering information
> meant that, unless involved in a high-profile success, the work of a spy was
> often thankless and mundane. More challenging was the area of
> intelligence-gathering. This kind of work included travelling abroad to gather
> information on national security.
> Intelligence work also involved learning how to break the different codes used
> by plotters in their correspondence. Often, letters of the alphabet were
> shuffled in a certain sequence and, once the key was worked out, the message
> could be read and understood. Alternatively individual letters could be
> substituted with numbers, symbols or signs of the zodiac. But spies had to
> learn not only how to decipher code but also how to write it themselves. This
> was frustrating and time-consuming work, paid off only by the satisfaction of
> finally cracking a difficult code.
Signs of the zodiac? Seems to me there is plenty of those in our MS... but
with all due respect for your theory, although admittedly feasible, I really
fail to feel any soundness in Walsingham's motivation for getting involved
in the funding and the plotting of the VMS as a tool for continental
conspiracy. It just seems too much complication and expense for too little
practical results of any use. Sorry.
For a different kind of theory, one of syntactic categories of mixed
category constructions in languages including Quechua, do not miss Robert
Malouf's 'Mixed Categories in the Hierarchical Lexicon' (1998, Stanford
University) which was also his Ph.D. thesis.