# VMs: Pairing [was; No stats no fun ---> no stats no blinkers! :-)]

```Hi Nick (and all),

I really like your idea of paired letters being significant (and I see
why spaces wouldn't be word division in such a case), after all without
using code words or syllabics it's difficult to shrink words but easy to
expand them. However a number of things puzzle me if that notion is
valid.

The first is that if every pair of letters is significant (effectively a
single grapheme) it would half the length of the Mss "letter" count, and
thus also half its potential information content.

The second is where does this leave "stand alone" glyphs that are
between "words"? These have spaces on either side of them, one of those
spaces would have to be a "division" of some sort wouldn't they?

The third is that if the paired cipher idea is valid then the total
number of glyphs would be an even number would it not? If the number is
odd then there is at least one glyph with an independent value. And if
there is at least one glyph with a unique value, why not others? That
being the case I don't understand how one could determine which pairings
are valid and which are not, which glyph(s) are singly significant and
which are not. So, how will you go about making such a determination?

The fourth is how many pairings actually (or potentially via different
counts of the Mss) actually exist? The hypothetical number of possible
pairings must be huge (the heat here in southern england is frying my
brain so I can't recall if formula's n^n or [n!] ). Even allowing for
contractions, abbreviations, truncations etc etc surely only a few
hundred would be needed to encipher any language thus. If it turns out
that the pairings in the VMS run into several hundreds, or even
thousands, where does that leave the pairing theory?

Curiously

Barbara
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