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Re: VMs: Re: NSU review of Rugg (2003)...

Dear Jacques,

I may be mistaken, but I think they are two different entitities. I'm talking about
three possibilities for the VMS:

Possibility 1: meaningless gibberish only
Possibility 2: some meaningless gibberish and some meaningful text
Possibility 3: meaningful text only

I'm saying that _if_ all the features of the VMS can be accounted for by possibility
1 above, then that's the most economical explanation.

Regarding your second point, there's a difference between "gibberish to me" and
"gibberish which never had a meaning". Etruscan, for example, is gibberish to
everyone, but clearly once had a meaning to someone, and has properties which, even
without the historical evidence, would make it clear that this was a real human
language. Many of the properties of Voynichese, by contrast, are unlike those of
known human languages, so there's no a priori reason to suppose that it contains
meaningful text.

Regarding the third point, I may not have expressed myself clearly. What I was
trying to say was that if some sections of the VMS can be explained as meaningless
gibberish produced by tables and grilles, but others can't, then it would be
reasonable to suppose that the manuscript might consist of two components: some
meaningless gibberish, and something else which could be meaningful encoded text.
(For instance, if the "body text" of each paragraph can be produced as meaningless
gibberish using a table and grille, but the first line of each paragraph can't, then
we might suspect that the first lines contain ciphertext and that the other lines
are padding.)

Best wishes,


Jacques Guy wrote:

> 18/12/2003 4:13:15 PM, Gordon Rugg <g.rugg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >I think that the manuscript can now be accounted for economically using only
> >meaningless gibberish as an entity, with no need to invoke meaningful text as a
> >second entity.
> First, they are not two entities, one to be posited after the other, but
> they are two alternative, mutually exclusive entities.
> Second, when I first came across an English text, it was complete
> gibberish to me. You could not even read it aloud: "the knight"
> indeed, how do you say that? (It was a translation of Don Quixote).
> I only knew that it must mean something because I knew that my
> father spoke English.
> A few years later I came across some Italian. It was in a comics
> magazine, translated from the Italian, but a whole page had
> the balloons untranslated. Now _that_ was gibberish. I remember:
> "la tavola". What a ridiculous language! Then I figured out
> some sentences, because the words looked like some strange
> distortions of French. I concluded that, for some weird reason,
> the author had decided to write a whole page of gibberish,
> modelling it on some sort of degenerate French.
> Third:
> >However, if the grille and table method fails to account for all the
> >features of the manuscript ...
> >then we do need two entities
> That is putting the cart before the horses. For this argument
> to hold, you need to demonstrate this:
> Given a meaningful text T, there exists no grille and table
> method that accounts for all the features of T.
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