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Re: VMs: split words

Hi everyone,

At 10:12 03/09/2004 -0600, John E Koontz wrote:
On Fri, 3 Sep 2004, Marke Fincher wrote:
> I've done a little experiment around the idea of split-words,
> or that some of the spaces in the VMs are misdirectional.
> This is interesting, and I feel gives more weight to the
> hoax argument than to the natural language argument.
In the case of all but the simplest patterns of encryption, one wouldn't
expect a five letter sequence to represent consistently the same
underlying five letter sequence, right?  I don't really have any idea to
what extent a more elaborately encrypted text would exhibit the
statistical behavior you observe.

I think Marke's line of reasoning is interesting because (IMO) what he's actually doing is trying experimentally to quantify the degree to which spaces are "plastic" in Voynichese - that is, to what degree the composition process (whether hoaxing, cryptographic, or linguistic) allows flexibility in the placement of spaces. After all, transposition ciphers are still ciphers! Or rather, t ran sposi ti oncip her sar esti llcip hers. :-)

FWIW, I'm convinced that we do see Voynichese spaces deliberately moved to break up obvious sets of verbose pairs, as in the first two lines of f15v:-
poror orshy chaiin dtchan opchordy -
[?]chor or oro r aiin cthy [?]ain dar -

Here we have an "-oror or-" on the first line, and an "or or oro r" on the second, which I find suspicious. IMO, the key place that repeated verbose pairs (coding for single tokens) would need steganographic masking in documents of this era would be in Roman numerals: this is why I wonder if <or> might code for "x". Oh well. :-o

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

PS: curiously enough, if "aiin" codes for "ii", then the second line above might code for "...xxxxii...", or 42. Very Douglas Adams, I'm sure. :-)

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