Whether I have misnamed the gait shouldn't affect your (dis)like of it!
How about if I explain that the Abjad gait is so named because it's intended
to be used for languages that now use abjads?  Or we can call it the
"cursive gait with unattached vowels".

I believe that Urdu is written in the Arabic abjad with obligatory vowels,
so perhaps it should be called the Arabic alphabet then.    I think Farsi
doesn't usually write vowels, and thus has many homonyms (homographs).
 Wikipedia's article on abjads mentions that most of them are "impure", i.e.
they contain symbols for some vowels.  And again, if the vowels aren't
needed for Arabic, I expect they won't be written.  But it's not worth
arguing about the name of the gait.

For me, a far more telling criticism of Shwa's abjad gait is that I tried
and failed to develop one that more resembles Nastaʿlīq, with excursions
around a central line (but without dots, and left-to-right).  And I couldn't
come up with one - Shwa's top+bottom letters militate for a modified zigzag.
 So I chose one that more evokes, at least to my eye, Islamic geometric art,
of which I am an admirer.  But while it is cursive (and yes, I understand
cursive and abjad are disjoint concepts), it is far from calligraphic.
 Perhaps one of you could succeed where I failed.

On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 11:46 PM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On 27/07/2011 20:59, Peter Cyrus wrote:
>> The Shwa abjad gait IS cursive,
> Of course, we don't disagree on that. But my point is that:
> 1. An abjad is not necessarily cursive. The Hebrew abjad is
> not cursive (nor, of course, were the early Semitic abjads).
> 2. Alphabetic systems (almost) always have cursive variants.
> 3. By your own admission "the Shwa Abjad doesn't omit
> vowels: the vowels must be written." If vowels _must_ be
> written, then it ain't an abjad.
> As far as I can see, the so-called "abjad gait" is
> _misnamed_ - if you called it the "Schwa cursive gait", I'd
> have no quarrel with it (except I would used 'mode' rather
> than 'gait').
>  and I hope it can be made
>> calligraphic, by which I mean "resembling pretty
>> handwriting".   Yes, I hope that all Shwa gaits will be
>> beautiful
> That's up to calligraphers   :)
>  It is also an abjad gait in that the vowels are written
>> separately from the skeleton of the consonants.  Arabic
>> and Hebrew with vowels shown is still an abjad, right?
> In Arabic and Hebrew vowel pointing is _optional_ and is not
> normally done, except in sacred texts. That, of course, was
> why vowel pointing was developed. The Masoretes wanted to
> ensure the correct reading of the Torah; similarly the Koran
> always has full vowel pointing to ensure correct recitation
> of the text.
>  Despite my protestations to the contrary on behalf of
>> foreigners, I don't plan on having the Shwa Police
>> descend on you if you omit the vowels in languages where
>> they can be inferred.
> {groan} I can do that with the Roman alphabet!
> w-'l mlk b-mlkm w-skn b-snm w-tm' mḥnt' lj gbl w-jgl 'rn zn
> tḥtsp htr mšpth thtpk ks'milkh w-nḥ tbrḥ' l gbl w-h' jmḥ
> Wow! No Roman police descended on me!
> I could, of course, write the above bit of Punic in _cursive_ Roman script
> - that wouldn't make it the "Roman abjad gait". It would merely make it a
> cursive Roman letter
> transcription of a text written in an abjad.
> But I fear we shan't agree. As I wrote before, I am in
> agreement with Michael Everson's observations:
> On 26/07/2011 17:55, Michael Everson wrote:
> [snip]
> >> - (Mr. Everson) the option of using different gaits may
> >> make it more familiar to people who aren't using an
> >> alphabet
> >
> > Which means two things. One, that a given gait just makes
> > a pastiche of the script those people are already using
> > (so why should they wish to use something else), and two,
> > that it renders the script illegible to people except for
> > the gait they are used to.
> Nothing so far has persuaded me otherwise.
> --
> Ray
> ==============================**====
>**com <>
> ==============================**====
> Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
> There's none too old to learn.