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On Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 2:34 PM, J. 'Mach' Wust <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On Sun, 15 Jul 2012 19:39:23 +0100, R A Brown wrote:
> >On 14/07/2012 23:33, MorphemeAddict wrote:
> >> On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM, J. 'Mach' Wust
> >>> Arabic, which also can be used like a stenography, is
> >>> not geometric either, and in contrast to Western
> >>> shorthands, it is beautiful.
> >>>
> >>
> >> A script is a script. Arabic writing is no more
> >> beautiful than cursive English or Russian or Greek.
>
> I very much disagree. Even though I deeply sympathize with relativism, I
> believe that some scripts are inherently more beautiful than others. If you
> don't like that wording, call them more suited for calligraphy than others.
> This correlates with the calligraphic culture. I believe that the only
> important calligraphies have been developed in the Arabic/Persian cultural
> sphere and in the Chinese/Japanese cultural sphere. In these cultures,
> calligraphy receives at least as much attention as painting (if not more).
> Compare that to the little attention calligraphy receives in the
> European/etc. cultural sphere.
>
> >Arabic can, indeed, look beautiful; but I have also seen it
> >look anything but beautiful - horrible scrawls like marks
> >made by spiders with inky feet.
> >
> >Western shorthands can be written carefully and neatly to
> >give beautiful calligraphic effects.  They are, of course,
> >not normally so written because the aim is to write at the
> >speed of normal speech.  Try writing Arabic script at that
> >speed; the result will not be beautiful!
> >
> >IME any cursive script may be written to give beautiful,
> >calligraphic results or written as (almost) eligible scrawls
> >- and, in practice, a whole load of variants in
> >between.
>
> Allow me an analogy with flavours instead of scripts. Imagine that there
> is some pleasant element in wet dog as well as some unpleasant element in
> vanilla. The relativistic conclusion would be that both flavours may
> produce pleasant or unpleasant effects (and, in practice, a whole load of
> variants in between). Would this invalidate the general observation that
> vanilla is more pleasant than wet dog? I believe it wouldn't. So while I
> fully agree with you that there are unpleasant instances of Arabic as well
> as pleasant instances of Western cursive script, this doesn't invalidate my
> more general perception that Arabic is more pleasant/suited for
> calligraphy/beautiful than any Western cursive script.
>
> My main reason for saying that Western shorthand systems are ugly
> (unsuited for calligraphy) comes from my years of trying to make them look
> good. There are two main problems with these systems. They tend not to
> preserve a line, instead going up and down, which destroys any rhythm. And
> they tend to feature too many different movements, which prevents any
> rhythm. In other words, they are uneven and disparate. I was pretty much
> forced into con-scripting until I got something more beautiful (suited for
> calligraphy).
>
> --
> grĂ¼ess
> mach
>
I think the cultural appreciation of calligraphy is the reason those Arabic
and Chinese-based scripts have such excellent calligraphy. It's not the
script at all, it's the appreciation of beautiful writing that matters.

stevo