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Re: VMs: Babelfish translation [plus question for Dana]

Nick Pelling incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

> Hi Jacques,
> At 07:20 15/11/2003 +1000, Jacques Guy wrote:
> >i -> "stump dot" (sd -- it's all right: there aren't any stump-dogs!)
> >n -> "stump awning" (sa)
> >m -> "stump awning awning" (saa)
> >u -> "hook stump" (hs)
> >Decipher this now: saasdsasdsaahssaa
> *sigh* I've been trying to do this with VMs pairs all year, so...
> saa.sd.sa.sd.saa.hs.saa = m.i.n.i.m.u.m
> I'd actually find the word even harder to read in Gothic Latin than in
> verbose cipher - if you write a stroke transcription (using just r, i and
> u) it looks like
>          rriiriirriurri
> I'm sure that's how EVA appears to some people too. :-)
> >I leave you to apply a polyalphabetic cipher on it
> >and see.
> My point exactly! :-)
> BTW: one problem with pairifying the VMs is <o>, as it is such an
> incredibly multi-function glyph:-
> * in <ol> and <or>, it looks like the left-hand half of a verbose cipher
> * in <qo>, <cho> and <eo>, it looks like the right-hand half of a verbose
> cipher pair
> * at the start of a word (typically before a gallows), it looks like a
> Greek omicron ("the")
> However, (IIRC) these three basic cases capture the vast majority of
> instances of <o>: and these groups are also very distinctive of the
> Language A / Language B differences. Most relevant to this thread is that
> (perhaps surprisingly) only rarely are these three <o>-cases ambiguous.
> My interpretation of this is that <o> appears to have been designed to
> different meanings/functions in different contexts, to make the whole
> system appear more like a language (but without actually being one).
> Perhaps ciphers where <o> acts like a simple "shift" character would have
> been too obvious for our code-maker, and he/she wanted to go one better...
> Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

IMHO c, h, o & y all stand out as special in the VMS because of frequency,
position and amalgamation (in the case of c & h).


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