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VMs: RE: Re: Re: Transcription Ramble

I'm with you politically, GC.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx]On
Behalf Of GC
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 12:21 AM
To: vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: VMs: Re: Re: Transcription Ramble


> Minus your completely inappropriate political views (true or false) in
> THIS venue, I whole-heartedly agree with the following snippets:

Do I sound like a Democrat?  Hardly.  Until Gingrich took control of the
house I was a died in the wool Republican.  Now I'm that middle third of
American society that is sick and tired of political retort and rhetoric
from both sides, but to stay informed I must read and watch the news
nightly, a medium which as itself become more polarized.  It's not one or
the other, it's both.  It's hard to watch and read without becoming angry,
and sometimes it comes out.  I wouldn't personally condone one party or
candidate, especially on-list, but there are only two viable parties, two
candidates, and one isn't nearly as inflexible or as guh-guh-guh-gullable as
the other.  You choose which one this fits.  On the other hand, this list is
a forum for commentary, and as allusion or allegory, political commentary as
it relates to the subject matter is, in my view, a natural extension, just
as I would discuss openly in person when groping for comparison.  I have a
military background that allows me to at least believe I've earned my right
to speak my mind, without fear of being called "unpatriotic" or
inappropriate" in my exercise of free speech.  I'm not a "hammer looking for
a nail" here, I just think that relating my commentary to current events
might be casual, but hardly inappropriate.  I'm actually more concerned with
your identification of <sh> to <s>.  That's a disturbing political view if I
ever saw one! :-)

I am impressed that you agree with me on so many points of my ramble.  I
thought it would go away unnoticed, like all other posts on this topic.

> I've tried to have the, "What is a character?" argument but no one seems
> to care. They'd rather argue about entropy's h1 & h2. Of course until
> the last couple years' FREE fotos it was all pointless for the average
> Joe to even discuss something that could not be seen with his own eyes.
> Stand-alone characters are key to me. The marginal keys (if original)
> f049v & f066r and the rings on f057v show many PARTS of glyphs that are
> usually considered whole.

I also made a pdf of these, something called a-singles.pdf.  Don't know
where that went, but I have it if you want it.  If you compare
transcriptions, many identifications of single glyphs are contested by the
"half-space" perception problem from earlier images, but there are only a
handful of stand-alones.

> I WILL really argue with you about whether CUR /Z/, Frogguy [c't], EVA
> <Sh> has a relationship to /2/[s]<s>. I say it's entirely possible. But
> I am completely willing to allow it to be represented by a single
> character for transcription purposes.
> Either we're dealing with shapes determined by phonemes (like John
> Wilkins 1668, Francis Lodwick 1686, Bell's "Visible Speech", JRR Tolkien
> 1930s, Kingsley Read 1950s) and/or shapes determined by calligraphy
> (like bdpgq) or shapes determined by random selection from existing
> symbols (tachygraphy, diplomatic ciphers 1400s-1600s, Sequoia 1820s).
> They're too regular to be meaningless. I've seen made-up random writing.
> It's quite obvious when no two signs are alike or ever repeat.

The nice thing about Currier is that he lumped a lot of EVA information into
a single glyph.  Right or wrong, this can be directly related the quality of
his images, and no fault of his own.   Students of Currier can't help but
view the glyphs this way, even after the advent of EVA.  It's evident in the
way they group EVA glyph strokes.  Not everything comes through in text, but
some things are still readable.  Currier wasn't perfect, but it had one
underlying feature that most people see, but either can't or don't express.
With some arguable exceptions like Nick's {4o}, Currier made use of a single
visual cue in his transcription - the space allotted between each glyph by
the author himself.  If you and I write in print instead of cursive, we
usually leave this space between our own latin characters, and he made the
natural assumption that these spaces identified the various glyphs as
individual glyphs.   They're a stop, then info, then a stop.  No matter what
age the VMS was written, the fact remains that it was written in print, not
cursive, and in print from any age, there is a stop between each character.
Currier never voiced this as his methodology, but neither did FSG1 or FSG2,
who followed much the same logical course.  I'm stating it now because
apparently the obvious is not so obvious to some when it applies to
transcription.  In older VMS images you still get tied up in things like "M"
or "IIIV",  but there's no faulting Currier or anyone else for this.  Today
is a new day.

> I CONSTANTLY have to open my EVA chart file just to see what people are
> meaning to write. I finally just had to print it out to consult it
> DAILY. There is a HUGE disconnect in my mind between EVA and the Ms.

Do I have a job for you!  Seriously - my transcription font now contains
about 99% of the information it will finally contain, but I assigned glyphs
on a one-up order beyond the basic glyph mnemonics.  If you're interested,
I'd like you to take that file and re-order the glyphs to a mnemonic system.
I'd provide statistics on glyph popularity, etc.   If you're interested,
contact me.


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