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Re: VMs: Binomial distribution of word-length, etc...
At 23:15 08/01/2004 -0600, Dennis wrote:
> I've thought for a while now that a good explanation for this might be a
> combination of (a) an abbreviating private shorthand (which I suspect would
> approach a kind of binomial distribution as the sample-length goes up, but
> probably with a shorter word-length "peak"), and (b) a verbose cipher (to
> move the peak sideways, ie to the right again).
> Unfortunately, I know of no sample statistics for (a)-like shorthand texts,
There must be examples of modern shorthand texts,
although I don't know of any in convenient form. I
suppose there are Unicode fonts for Gregg, etc.
Modern shorthand is quite different from the kind I have in mind here
(which would be a loose mixture of late-medieval Tironian-like ad hoc
abbreviations & Radcliff's drop-letters-you-don't-need system (as mentioned
on-list)), so the stats would be quite different. :-(
Also, what about Japanese texts with differing degrees of
While modern Japanese does a fair amount of aggressive abbreviating (like
"seku-hara" for "sexual harassment"), the size of (even any one of!) its
alphabets puts it in quite a different kind of bracket from the size of the
alphabet we see in the VMs (even with a verbose cipher!)
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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