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Re: VMs: qo-words

Hi Gabriel,

At 10:34 10/03/03 +0000, Gabriel Landini wrote:
I have expanded a bit on the discrepancy of the frequencies of q- and o-
starting labels by analysing the the frequencies of the words.
I found a few interesting features that point to <q> as a "detachable"
Any comments and corrections are appreciated.

You could alternately look at <q> (as I do) as an "attachable" character, ie a "shift"-character that changes the interpretation of the rest of the token. This would be consistent (for example) with the general "VMS-as-embellished-number-code" hypothesis, as that would require a separate "shift" code to denote large numbers (to differentiate them from code indices).

I found the most interesting thing is that you the data would seem to suggest that the <qo> in <qoteedy> is, at heart, *non-glyphic* - that is, that rather than the <qo>-centric decomposition...

<qo> + <teedy>

... it would seem more (statistically) likely to be....

<q> + <oteedy>

My eye now readily decomposes <qoteedy> into <q> plus a number of high-frequency glyph pairs:-

<q> + <ot> + <ee> + <dy>

This might further point to the ligatured <qo> glyph as being basically steganographic, designed specifically to throw code-breakers' attention away from the <ot> pair following the <q>.

The implication (which perhaps should be tested next) is that any common glyph-pairs appearing after <q> - ie, reattaching the frequently-ligatured <o> forward to the next character along, and not backwards to the preceding <q> - may well form the core of the VMS' internal numbering system.

One yet further inference might be that, as this would be a far more refined version of the "4"/"4o" alphabet-hiding mechanism used in various North Italian codes circa 1440-1455, it would almost certainly post-date them, while still having been devised by the same code-maker: all of which would date it to 1455 or later (my two current hypotheses are 1463 and 1465).

Interesting! :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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