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Re: VMs: RE: Determining the writing speed...?

Hi Mike,

At 12:56 08/09/2003 +0100, Mike Stannett wrote:
I've left my photocopies at home, so no precise details I'm afraid.
However, I've noticed that some of the gallows characters suggest (to
my admittedly untrained eye) that parts of the manuscript are
definitely copied from an original. It looks in places like the scribe
has drawn the left hand vertical, then the top horizontal with both of
its loops, and is on his way back down again, when he seems to have
forgotten which character it is he's writing. Consequently, there's a
small glitch in the character, suggesting he's looked away from the MS
to consult the master copy, and has then continued with the remainder
of the character.

As well as suggesting that the extant version is copied from an
original, this also suggests that the scribe may not have understood
that characters he was writing. It's rather like us having to consult
an original to decide if a letter is a "b" or a "d". For users of our
alphabet this is fairly easily remembered, but for non-users the
characters may be perceived simply as shapes, hence more tricky to
retain in short-term memory.

The four gallows shapes all start with a vertical leg, and have two binary decision points - the top left loop (loop or skip) & where to finish up (straight legs or crossed legs). I agree, this would seem to point to a copier inexperienced with Voynichese, writing at a reasonably fast (but perhaps not blistering) rate.

Any page/line references to this kind of "mid-gallows pause" you can dig up would be great! :-)

Thanks, .....Nick Pelling.....

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