response to Jon

Paige Gabhart <pgabhart@...>

Jon wrote:

Quick update on things. I'm redesigning the Jerome font with
corrections to the shapes of some letters, and the whole font
will be larger. I'm testing every letter as I go along to insure
readability at every step in the 10-14 point range. To me it seems
all the Shavian fonts developed so far have been difficult when used
at the same point size as a Roman type.

Sounds good. I really, really appreciate your hard work on this.

Paige has stated that he doesn't use the X forms, and considers them
unnecessary, but I think some might find them a
convenience in handwriting.

The X forms do not offend me, and I will not object to their
inclusion. My thoughts are as follows: no doubt some may
consider them a convenience, but they mimic the Roman alphabet,
which, as Shaw wrote, should not be part of the new
alphabet. If we are to depart from the framework of one letter for
each sound to one letter for two sounds, then why stop with
the X forms? It might be handy to have a letter for "br," or "st" or
any other digraph you can think of. My objection is that it is
patently an attempt to respond to a perceived benefit of the Roman
alphabet. It just rubs me the wrong way to muddy your
philosophical high ground for the minuscule benefit returned. After
all, "ks" or "gs" is not that common in English anyway.

Paige suggested the possibility of extending the half-letters to
include a half-Yea, and a half-Whitewheat. A few thoughts to
keep in mind:
1. We are talking about a modification of Read's work, ...

I don't have my QM here at the present, but I feel relatively
confident that half-Whitewheats appear in it. When I retrieve it
from my office, I will check. And if they do not, it is a natural

4. Kerning (spacing between letters) creates some minor problems with
the half-Win-win. Because it needs to align not beside,
but directly beneath the appropriate vowel letter, after it's typed
(in Windows, at least) the cursor begins to appear to the right
of where the insertion point actually is, which can make corrections
very tricky. This error increases every time the half-W is
used. Nevertheless, it's a really cool effect, and no one can
deprive me of the right to write KDld I like it!

See! You're responding to these word-shapes like I do. Fearing not
to plunge ahead where I know virtually nothing about what
is involved, let me ask: is it possible to include a half-space in
the font (or whatever would be needed -- a negative half-space?)
to align the cursor properly again after a Win-Win is used? In this
manner, after the writer uses a Win-Win, when he spaces at
the end of the word, he adds the half-space to realign the cursor
properly. (I hope this does not sound as uninformed as I fear it
does.) If there is no way to correct the offset, then people
probably just will not use the half-Win-Win that much.

6. In typical text font sizes, 10-12, a half-Whitewheat will almost
certainly be similar enough toa half-Deed to cause

I do not understand the foregoing. A half-Whitewheat is angled from
left to right (as written), and its barb is to the left,
whereas, a half-Deed is vertical and has its barb to the right. It
certainly does not sound to me like the two forms would be
confused. I certainly never confuse them in my handwriting. You may
think this would happen because the barb on Deed at
present is smaller than it should be. This should be eliminated once
you have had a chance to rework the spacing in the font.

With those thoughts in mind, I'm very open to the possibility of
creating a half-YEA, especially if there's another vote in favor,
but I'm inclined to think a half-Whitewheat isn't that beneficial an
expansion. (Some of us will NEVER use it anyway, we just
don't say it. CFPB, for what it's worth, dropped it too.)

Here are some words where a half-Yea works great: York, yacht, yell,
yellow, Yeltsin, Regarding the half-Whitewheat: people
whose dialect does not include it, naturally think it is not
important. My dialect has always included it. As a matter of fact,
was not until a few weeks ago that I learned to my surprise there are
people who do not use this sound. Either I have been
inattentive, or most of the people in this area use it. For example,
I have always pronounced "which" and "witch." When I
checked my dictionary, it lists "Whitewheat" first and then "Win-win"
as an alternate pronunciation for the first phoneme in
"which." I would enjoy the option of writing "whirl," "white,"
"wheat," "wheeze" and "why" with half-Whitewheat, just as
you enjoy writing "world" that way.

I happen to be left-handed. The statement "some of us will NEVER use
it" reminds me slightly of the incomprehension I am
met with by the right-handed when I make a comment regarding some
piece of hardware that operates backwards from the
natural way I want to use it. Generally, they say something like
"Gee, I never thought of that." Well, of course not, the whole
world has been designed for them since their birth. They feel right
at home. A fantasy a lot of left-handed people probably
share is that one day they will wake up and everything was designed
for them, and all the right-handed people are wandering
around trying to use scissors with their left hand, remember which
way bolts tighten, etc. (Sorry, for digressing.)

However, I do feel the abbreviations on QM, page 12, in the "Junior
Quickscript" section, are very useful.... I suggest we
limit the clarified presentation of the Second Shaw alphabet to those
8 one-letter abbreviations, rather than open a Pandora's
box of "shorthand tips." Anyone else's thoughts on this?

For brevity's sake and clarity, I would agree with this. If we can
interest a broader public, they can learn about the
abbreviations when and if they purchase a copy of the QM or go to a
site where a full copy of the QM can be downloaded. I
would use the abbreviations in personal correspondence or note taking
and not in printed matter.


SO tYk tM mI, mF frendL!

In the history of alphabets all of them originally had names which
actually words. The Greek letter names were transliterations of the
Phoenician letternames which were actual words. Beta doesn't mean
in Greek, but "Beth" or "Bet" DOES mean house in Aramaic and
Hebrew. Delta
comes from Daleth "door." Some names in Greek do make sense in
Greek, like
O-mikron "little o" and O-mega "big O."
Now that you have reminded me of this, I remember reading a history
of alphabets and writing a couple of years ago
that contained information on this.