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Re: VMs: Stroke harmony. Was: Has anyone been down this route before?

On Sat, 4 Sep 2004, Jacques Guy wrote:
> No conflict there. The conflicts arise with "graph" which, as I've
> already written, immediately conjures up "graph" as in "graph theory" or
> "graph" as in "graph paper".

Though, of course, it's intended etymologically to be from Greek graphein
'to mark, to write, to draw, to depict', but in the first two senses, not
the latter.  I really don't notice this conflict as there are so many uses
of graph that clearly refer to writing, e.g., autograph, monograph,
graphology, telegraph, calligraphy, etc.

> On the other hand, there is no fundamental difference when you speak of
> the (astrological) glyph for "Jupiter", or that for "quincunx", or of
> the (Mayan) glyph for "jaguar", or for the syllable "ba". "Graph" gets
> really bad when it leads you to "graphology", which should make you
> think of "phonology". But everybody will think, instead, of the theory
> that handwriting reflects character.

And, of course, this is the normal usage in English.  It is perhaps a
delicate point in the present context, but the same problem arises with
respect to astrology, the study of the stars, but not in the sense now
usual with -ology.

> So that's why in the article I'm writing I have settled on glyph,
> alloglyph, glypheme.

Glyph is from glyphein 'to carve, to cut' and I suppose it must refer
orignally to incised as opposed to inked letters, though naturally I don't
recommend purism in this respect.  I have heard that there used to be
people who insisted that dilapidated be used only of stone constructions,
and I can see them being disturbed at inked glyphs, though they don't
bother me!

A third Greek stem in this context occurs in gramma 'writing', which in
English usually refers to a larger unit of writing, e.g., telegram.

> Further, consider how we say "digraph" for sequences of two letters
> forming a single whole, e.g. "th" in English, "gn" in French. And
> "trigraphs", e.g. German "sch". Now what would you call all the rest,
> those composed of only ONE letter? Monographs?

And so, of course, an examination composed by a group of collaborating
professors would be a polygraph examination.

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