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Re: VMs: qo-words
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
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).
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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