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--- James Chandler <[log in to unmask]> 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?
> 
If you were an Eist or even tried to comprehend it
instead of reflexively bashing it, I would take this
more seriously. As it is, I can't help wondering how
sincere the question is: are you really interested in
the topic or just trolling?

But let's assume that it's sincere.

To begin with, there are really only two workaround
systems common enough to worry about: h and x. 

Ho-metodo derives from the simple fact that <h> is the
most common digraph element in the Latin alphabet. The
downside is that it also represents a common sound in
Eo, so it's technically possible to produce an
ambiguous form. This possibility can be dealt with
practically always simply by hyphenating compounds or
leaving the PoS ending: flug-haveno or flugohaveno.
(This also seems to occur in Ido: not all Idists
bother to hyphenate des- before <h>, as in deshonoro.)

Ikso-metodo gets around this by using a glyph not
found in any actual Eo word. The form of <x> also
suugests a combination of circumflex and breve. The
first time I encountered it, I thought it odd, but I
found contrary to my expectations that I adapted to it
immediately.

As to the argument that it's artificial, the argument
itself is artificial. What is more "natural" about
combinations such as <sz>, <cz>, and <oe> (as a
substitute for o with umlaut)? It looks odd for a
moment, but the moment passes if it's allowed to.

But while I find x convenient, ultimately the
"natural" orthography uses the hats. Over time,
Unicode will marginalize workarounds, making this
matter unimportant again, as it mostly was before
computers.

Steve



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