On Wed, Aug 14, 2002 at 03:43:23PM -0500, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> Quoting Christophe Grandsire <[log in to unmask]>:
> > En réponse à Christopher Wright <[log in to unmask]>:
> >
> > > The frequency of diacritics is an obstacle to this system's use, I
> > > think.
> >
> > Only for monoglot English people, who never used diacritics. About
> > everybody else does ;))) .
> That's not really true -- I can think of countless languages that
> don't use diacritics in their native orthography. Many native
> languages of North America, in particular, actively strive not to
> have diacritics when having orthographies devised since their
> superstrate language, English, does not have them (much).
> Personally, though, I like 'em.

I personally don't like diacritics when I have to remember them, but I
love them when there are so many of them they look like textual
decorations. The Ebisedian orthography, due to the oft-bemoaned poverty of
the Roman alphabet, is filled with diacritics. I use a non-diacritical
(and uglier) form when writing in ASCII, mainly because characters with
diacritics usually don't show up right depending on which platform it's
viewed on; but my trusty ole LaTeX generator produces beautifully
diacritic'd results:
        An acute for high pitch (I may add more, since recently it's
        becoming clear that compound words regularly have multiple high
        pitches that must be marked to avoid ambiguity)

        A macron for long vowels

        A superscript backtick for "smooth" breathing (semivowelized

        A subscript tilde for nasality (it used to be superscript, but I
        moved it down because of clutter when multiple diacritics are

All 4 diacritics may appear in any combination, giving rise to 16
different markings for every single vowel. :-) Back when the nasality
tilde was still a superscript, you could get 4 diacritics sitting on top
of a single vowel like a little totem pole. :-P

And then there's the superscript hat (^) on a few consonants to
distinguish between aspirated and un-aspirated forms.


It is of the new things that men tire -- of fashions and proposals and
improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and intoxicate. It
is the old things that are young. -- G.K. Chesterton