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Re: Tachygraphy : was RE: VMs: F66r

----- Original Message -----
From: "GC" <gc-@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 15 June 2004 01:22

> Wow!
> I'm happy most of us are on the same page (or folio) with the idea that
> of the quires were bound out of order.   No one touched much on the
> order of the pages, but I was mostly referring to the herbal section
> which was composed differently from the later sections, in my view, and I
> was only wondering if anyone had stumbled across any statistics that
> demonstrate this - they haven't.  I saw it when I was transcribing, that
> folios on the same side of a bifolio had a certain similar feel to them
> typing them in.  I had also posted a word study, and while looking at it,
> discovered that many rare words only occur on the same side of a bifolio.
> don't really know if this is important to anything I or anyone else is
> however.  I think John Grove has a handle on the situation of the misbound
> folios - I really like your work on the subject, John.

Collaboration is so good! At least if a consensus is arrived at here there
be a fighting chance to make a start.

> I'm also happy most of us are on the same page with the origin of the
> script.  As has been pointed out, the vast majority of the glyphs are
> gleaned from Latin abbreviations.  The remainder, the wierdo class, can
> be found in early modern shorthand.  For some this is the only source to
> date, and all translations or early meanings for these wierdos is
> like the "Feare God" glyph on f57v.  But if we know most of these glyphs
> from Latin abbreviations, why do we record them in little strokes of
> <sh.......ch> instead of like they are intended - as an actual Latin
> abbreviation?  The EVA answer would probably be unnnecessarily verbose,
> intentionally misleading and ultimately unsupportable - but at least we'll
> all be able to pronounce it. :-(
> As to Nick's suggestion that the folios were painted after binding -
> also <sh.....ch> logic.  It doesn't make sense in regard to what we know
> about illumination of manuscipts, and it doesn't make sense in
> especially with such a medium as watercolors.  Maybe this was a medieval
> coloring book that's only partially filled in? :-)  We did touch on the
> left-to-right transfer some time ago.  If you lay a book on its back in a
> damp location for an extended period of time, you get a transfer from left
> page to right page.  I have several examples of early printed books where
> this is the case.  Damp does not produce enough moisture to worry about
> factoring in capillarity, but does cause a gradual softening and sag (with
> gravity's help) of any water-based compound on the page.  It's not the
> type of transfer or reason for such, but it fits with Nick's description.
> I'd really like to hear from a document conservation expert on this

Have you any contacts in the document conservation field? If not I'm sure
someone else has. It would be very interesting to get an opinion.

> I'd also like to address my use of the term "shorthand", since there has
> been some misunderstanding.  Shorthand is not really the word I am looking
> for to describe early systems of notation that allowed for rapid writing,
> but were either personal or not well structured.  Tachygraphic systems
> be the correct term, especially when considering a set of Latin
> abbreviations coupled with certain astronomical and religious notae.
> Without objection I will start using this term and drop the "shorthand"
> reference.
> When I've mentioned "shorthand notation" in the VMS glyphs, this has
> conjured up a host of negative images, and I'd like to correct any
> misunderstanding about this before it gets out of hand.  I'm not talking
> about endless micro-notation, or parsing the glyphs into minute segments,
> anything of that nature.  What I'm talking about are "reminders" the
> left for himself, and the investigation and quantification of these marks.
> Careful transcription reveals some of this, and when you transcribe this
> book, many things stand out that wouldn't otherwise be noticed.  I'm
> Rene and Gabriel labored over some of these.
> There's the case of the one legged gallows - the first time I recorded a
> legged gallows with a crook in the right leg, I drew a glyph for this and
> represented it as a wierdo.  When I saw it a few other times, I went back
> and looked at each count.  What had happened here was that the author
> to write a one-legged gallows, but paused and altered the glyph to the
> two-legged kind.  Each time he almost made this mistake, he paused and
> altered the writing, not just at the beginning where certain similar
> might not be set in his memory, but much later on, when this mistake
> not have happened.  The same has happened with two-legged gallows that
> one loop and two.  In these cases again, the author paused, focused, and
> then altered the glyph.  These are just two of the hundreds of times the
> author paused and made a conscious choice between one form or another.
> These events should be identified and recorded by any modern trancription
> they may be quantified and studied.
> There are various other minor differences to glyphs that are relatively
> consistent and need to be addressed.  These are not errors of the above
> mentioned class, but what I call "reminders", for lack of a fully
> functioning brain.  I consider these variables as objects left by the
> author, as a reminder to do something different at this location, should
> wish to read back the page.  This "reminder" class I formerly identified
> "variants", as opposed to "wierdos", the latter usually occurring only
> but "variants" occurring a high number of times throughout the manuscript.
> They include such strange things as "c"'s in the middle of words with
> negating the idea that a tail is a calligraphic ending.  The same for
> (<iin>), etc, when there are perfectly good examples of the three-stroke
> in the middle of a word without a calligraphic loop, what would be normal
> for this glyph.  The connected <Ee> runs rampant, so must not be a
> "reminder", but an actual glyph.  What would be considered as a "reminder"
> to my mind is a word that begins with "9" and ends with "9", but the first
> "9" has a straight tail, while the ending "9" has a normal tail.  In all
> these cases you look left, right, up and down, and the surrounding glyphs
> are normal. Two or three times in the herbal section might be attributed
> a mental passing of wind, but when these add up, they gain in importance.
> It goes on - find a variation, look up, down, left and right, and
> else is normal.  Some are even "labored on" by the author.  You can
> see the pen pause before the alteration is made.
> There's an "a" that is not an "a".  One can go several folios withouf
> finding it, but it's there.  It looks more like a "9" without a tail.  The
> typical "a" is composed of an  <e> and <i> stroke, but in this case the
> stroke is not straight, but curved inward or straight down, like the
> beginning of the tail on the <y>.  You now have the sids, you can blow
> up and see that they are intentional.  Proper "a"'s to the right and the
> left, up and down, but this one is altered.  Not once, not twice, but a
> multiple of times within a section.  Many of these were recorded as "o"'s
> earlier transcriptions.  Reclassify them and the "o" statistic is altered.

I have also noticed the wierd a's. I have also noticed several places where
the i stroke is not where it normally should be. The counts for o & y are
high. Anything that could normalise these would be a step in the right

> Anyone who approaches my observations with the typical disingenuous
> categorical dismissal is welcome to that attitude, and if that's the
> reaction you may rest assured that I will not bring up the subject again
> my own part.  I just want it out there for those who understand that
> writing, especially from this time period, is a living and interactive
> extension of the mind of the author.
> GC

I would be VERY interested to see your transcription. One question I have to
ask is your opinion on verbose groupings. ie 'ol' or 'or' that seem to be
together a lot.


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