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Re: VMs: Spaces

Hi Jon,

At 15:54 26/05/2004 +0100, Jon Grove wrote:
It seems to me that the structure of VMS 'words' (i.e. the characters between the spaces) clearly indicates that the spaces mean something and are not sprinkled in at random. The fact that there are places where the spaces seem to be 'out by one' suggests to me that the rule for inserting a space was not necessarily straightforward, and that sometimes the scribe forgot, or got it wrong.

The more structured space occurrences are, the more predictable they are: and hence the less meaning (or rather the, less information) they contain. Correspondingly, the more structured the majority use of space is, so minority use of spaces become more worthy of study - what is happening in split ol pairs and half-spaces? Are there any other space instances which appear similarly puzzling?

Ultimately, invoking "scribal error" is a bit of a cop-out: there are very few obvious corrections in the whole VMs, and I don't think the text itself doesn't give the impression of having being written in undue haste - the hand(s) are clear, the letters are (for the most part) legible, etc. All in all, I feel reasonably confident that the VMs appears much as its originator(s) intended it to.

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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