Print

Print


James Chandler wrote:
> Seeing that "yet another" system of Esp spelling got me thinking: why is it not possible for the Espists to agree on a single system of spelling, where the hats are not available?
>
> Zamenhof proposed the h-convention (h following the behatted letter), but many Espists seem to prefer other methods, such as the following-x-convention.  It's always seemed to me that at least with the h-convention, the digraphs ch and sh come out right.  The downside is clearly gh, which happens to go against the Italian usage, very confusingly for Italians.  Despite this, I've always thought that if I was an Espist, I would prefer the h-convention.
>
> The x-convention has always appeared to me rather ugly and like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  You still get digraphs, but they're completely unnatural cx, sx etc.  It just appears to me that what this says to the reader is: "I wanted to use hats here, but couldn't, so just hold your nose and pretend they're hats, perched neatly atop the preceding letters".  Rather than work out a proper workaround for the problem that the hats are not universally available.
>
> Thoughts?
>   
At this very moment an unreasonably heated debate on this subject is in 
progress on the <uea-membroj> message board. People are getting into all 
sorts of off-topic analogies and ad hominem arguments. I can't 
understand this; it should just be a question of practicality.
Personally I take a very simple approach. I use "real" accents whenever 
I can; if I can't, and there is no prospect of converting the text to 
"real" accents, then I use "h"; if it is going to be converted to real 
accents (preferably before it appears in public) I use "x", as (as 
several people have pointed out here) conversion is unproblematic.
Or to put it another way, "h" is the official surrogate (Fundamenta 
Gramatiko); "x" is a stepping-stone to the real thing.

Geoffrey King