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alphabets-msg - 7/23/18


Alphabets and how they've changed. Roman numerals vs. Arabic numerals. Doing arithmetic in Roman numerals. How scribal errors change documents.


NOTE: See also the files: Cyrillic-Alpha-art, Paleo-Scribes-art, calligraphy-msg, early-books-msg, inks-msg, parchment-msg, paper-msg, scrpt-develop-art, wax-tablets-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: bloodthorn at sloth.equinox.gen.nz (Jennifer Geard)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Funny Spelling, was Re: Rules and honor

Date: Mon, 04 Jul 94 05:21:50 GMT

Organization: Lethargy Inc.


Bill McNutt asks why AElflaed and the AEthelmarc people capitalize that E.


The answer has to do with the letters in the Anglo-Saxon alphabet and the characters available in the basic keyboard character set.


Anglo-Saxon used a number of letters which are not used in English today,

including characters for "w" (looks like a triangular pennon on a pole,

called wynn), the "th" in "this" (looks like a D with a line through the

downstroke, called edh or eth), and the "th" in "thin" (looks like a wynn at

half-mast, called thorn).


Among the Anglo-Saxon letters was a vowel called aesc (ash - sounds like cat

and mat) which looks like an A and an E cuddling up to each other.  People in

British-English-speaking countries still occasionally use the letter, but

it's not available in the common basic character sets for keyboards so it

tends to be typed as AE.  


BTW, I know one child named AElfleda, and the aesc on her birth certificate

was made by typing an A and then backing up the typewriter before typing the

E. The Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in NZ will consider allowing

other unusual characters in registrations once they upgrade to computers in a

couple of years time.  (Yes, I did ask whether I could register a name with a

thorn.) I was surprised to find they've only recently progressed from manual



Pagan le Chaunster


Jennifer Geard                         bloodthorn at sloth.equinox.gen.nz

Christchurch, New Zealand



From: aj at wg.icl.co.uk (Tony Jebson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Funny Spelling, was Re: Rules and honor

Date: 4 Jul 1994 08:06:04 -0500

Organization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway


Jennifer Geard wrote:

> Anglo-Saxon used a number of letters which are not used in English today,

> including characters for "w" (looks like a triangular pennon on a pole,

> called wynn), the "th" in "this" (looks like a D with a line through the

> downstroke, called edh or eth), and the "th" in "thin" (looks like a wynn at

> half-mast, called thorn).


The character "eth" was called "thaet" (spelt "eth" + "aesc" + "t") by the



There was another "strange" character: "yogh" which is generally transcribed

into MnE as "g", but was pronounced either "y" (as in "yet") or "g" (as

in "get"). (One form of this character is shown below).

A bit of ASCII art below may help visualise these characters:


============= thorn ===== wynn === lowercase eth = Uppercase Eth ===


                                  O               OOOOOOo

Ascender        oo                   O   Oo        OO    Oo          

              ooo                     Oo          OO     OO        

                o                   Oo  Oo      ooOOoo   OO        

Headline         o  oo    oooooo          oo     OOOOOO   OO            

                oo   o    o    o       oo  Oo     OO     OO              

                o    o    o    o      Oo    OO    OO     OO              

                o   o     o   o       oo    OO    OO    Oo              

Baseline         o o       o o          oOOOo      OOOOOOo              

                o         o                                        

                o         o                                        

Descender        o         o                                        


================= yogh ==============================================


Headline       ooooOOOOOO          





Baseline      OOOOOOOOoo    




Descender          Ooooooo        



================ aesc ===============================================



Headline         ooOooOOOoo  

              OO   OO    OO

             Oo    OOoooO

             oo    OO

Baseline       oOOO   Ooo


Apologies for the quality of the art, but some of these are hard to draw ;-)


Also, many "normal" characters looked very different in Anglo-Saxon times. In

particular: "s", "f", "t", "r"


If you have ftp, then some jpegs of folios 129r, 179r, 192v of "Beowulf"

can be found in directory mss/beowulf at othello.bl.uk




--- Tony Jebson     --- International Computers Limited (ICL)

--- +44 625 617193  --- +44 61 223 1301 ext 3099 (work)

--- aj at wg.icl.co.uk --- All opinions expressed here (however stupid) are my own,

----------------------- and nothing stated here is an official statement by ICL.



From: corliss at hal.PHysics.wayne.EDU (David J. Corliss)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Funny Spelling

Date: 28 Jun 1994 16:02:33 -0400

Organization: the internet


Bill McNutt asks:


> Funny question for a 10+ year veteran, but how come you and the AEthelmark

> people capitalize that E?


Not at all a funny question, just something peculiar to a somewhat obscure

langauge. You have asked about what I will call the "Winchester AE".


The E is capitalized _along_with_ the A because _they_ are _one_ letter:

that is, a single rune in Anglo-Saxon. The name of this rune, in modern

English, is "ash", like either the tree or the remains of a fire. (These two

uses of "ash" are related and both could be spelled out or signified merely by

the use of this single rune.)


Now: "a" in Anglo-Saxon is pronounced "ah", not unlike the "o" in "hot".

The sound that begins the word "ash" is very different and is spelled

differently in Anglo-Saxon: _ae_. The sound now spelled "sh" was written

"sc" in Anglo-Saxon, so the modern English writes "ash" and the Anglo-Saxon

writes "aesc" with no difference in pronunciation. For purposes of

capitalization, the ae is considered to but a single letter, and so both

charecters are capitalized.


This is done in Anglo-Saxon, thus making AE an Anglo-Saxon capital. Therefore,

it must be Winchester.





From: sandradodd at aol.com (SandraDodd)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Funny Spelling

Date: 1 Jul 1994 02:19:02 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)


Hey, I liked that Winchester Mystery Joke.


In article <9406281951.AA07959 at hal.physics.wayne.edu>,

corliss at hal.PHysics.wayne.EDU (David J. Corliss) writes: >>Now: "a"

in Anglo-Saxon is pronounced "ah", not unlike the "o" in "hot".

The sound that begins the word "ash" is very different and is spelled

differently in Anglo-Saxon: _ae_. The sound now spelled "sh" was


"sc" in Anglo-Saxon, so the modern English writes "ash" and the

Anglo-Saxon writes "aesc" with no difference in pronunciation. For

purposes of capitalization, the ae is considered to but a single

letter, and so both charecters are capitalized.>>


By Middle English (which I know more about that I know about Anglo

Saxon, which is very little, and judging by this sentence you might

think I know very little about Modern English) words were spelled

differently in different parts of England, and the combo ae [which

isn't always a capital,  even in Winchester] was used in some places

and not so much in others, the explanation now being that it was a

dipthong (two sounds--a & then e), and it was used when, in the

pronunciation of the writer, it was pronounced that way.  Likely it

was itself pronounced differently in different parts of England.

Hard to prove now, but scholars use clues like that (and rhymes, when

they can figure a pronunciation from rhymed verse) to try to trace

the history of dialects & migrations.


Me, I found it in a history book, and I pronounce it like Elf-led.

Some other famous (still used) which have been found spelled with AE

at the beginning are Albert and Elsie and Alfred.  Now they're

spelled as they're pronounced, and probably then they were too.  The

last modern English word to use that letter, I would guess, is

"aesthetic," which was spelled this way in the 1950's and is not

anymore. When I didn't know how to pronounce AElflaed (because

nobody really does), I took the initial sound of "aesthetic."


I'm an early-period Laurel, but I'm not in the Middle, and part of

what I got a Laurel for is late-period music.   So it sometimes goes.


AElflaed [my keyboard can do it right, but this mailer can't]



From: djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Origins of 0

Date: 15 Apr 1997 14:10:26 GMT

Organization: University of California at Berkeley


Derek Mcdonald <thrash at interlog.com> wrote:

>Did the number 0 come about during the 15th century as I have read?


Lots earlier than that.  A kids' History of Math would give you

more details, but the zero started in Indian (like, in India, not

Native American) notation many centuries back and spread into

Arabic notation.  The Arabs brought it to Spain, and during the

Reconquista--which took more centuries than the 15th, but

culminated in 1492--Christian scholars learned it from Arabic

texts, frequently through Jewish interpreters.  There's a lovely

scene in James Burke's _The Day the Universe Changed_ showing a

Dominican monk and a Jewish scholar sitting together in some

shady arcade, translating a book.  (I paraphrase from the



"And the azimuth--"




"Yes, azimuth.  That's the distance clockwise in degrees from the

north point."


"There isn't a word for that in Latin."  (writing carefully) "A-zi-muth."


"--is one-three-zero."


"Zero? What's that?"


"Well-- it's an empty space."


"How do I write an empty space?"


"Draw a little circle."


Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin                          Dorothy J. Heydt

Mists/Mists/West                                Albany, California

PRO DEO ET REGE                                     djheydt at uclink

(My account might go away at any minute; if I disappear, I haven't died.)



From: pyotr at halcyon.com (pyotr filipivich)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Origins of 0

Date: 17 Apr 1997 10:36:17 -0700

Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.


morphis at niuhep.physics.niu.edu writes:


}dlblanc at earthlink.net (Louis leBlanc, O.L.) writes:

}>djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt) wrote:

}>>Derek Mcdonald <thrash at interlog.com> wrote:

}>>They used Roman numerals, which don't use *anything* in place of zero.

}>In reality, Roman numerals have an 'implied' zero, in that they used

}>different letters for each power of 10 (e.g. I and V for ones).  


}Nit picking, but I don't think that really implies a zero.

}zero is either the concept on "nothing" in numerical form or

}a place holder (obviously as a place holder it is building on being

}a symbol for nothing)


       Zero is not 'nothing' - zero is a count of none, or one less

than one, two less than two and so on.  It is a quibble, it is a nuance,

it is a very important point,and the underlying "truth" of this higher



}>You CAN do

}>long arithmetic in Roman numerals (if you're TRULY masochistic).  I know;

}>I've done it.

}silly person, that is what an abacus is for.


}I was rather surprized to learn recently that Hindi-Arabic numerals are

}apparently NOT period for much of the SCA period.


       To confuse things - there were two variants of "Arabic" numbers

- and what we in Europe learned were the western forms.  The numerals

used in the Eastern Med are different in a number of ways.

       I just realized - the really important thing was the invention

of 'numerals': symbols for specific quantities that were not used for

recording verbal information.  E.g.  is "IV" six or an abreviation for

"IVPETER"? And I doubt anyone will mistake '6' as short of "Intervenious

Transfusion" :-).


}This leads one to hope that abacuses are.


       Bothe Abacuses and counting boards.   Doing math with roman numbers

is incentive enough to invent some form of analoge computer :-)


       Remember "IV" is not so much "4" as "one less than five"

and MLXVI isn't "1066" so much as it is "one thousand fifty and ten and

five and one - or "one thousand three score and six'.


pyotr filipivich, sometimes owl, Nikolai Petrovich in the SCA.



From: jeffs at bu.edu (Jeff Suzuki)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Origins of 0

Date: 18 Apr 1997 03:05:49 GMT

Organization: Boston University


Dorothy J Heydt (djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu) wrote:

: You CAN do

: >long arithmetic in Roman numerals (if you're TRULY masochistic).  I know;

: >I've done it.


: Yes, you can; I'd rather not, thanks; I have trouble enough with

: the Arabic kind.


Actually, it's easier to use Roman numerals for arithmetic problems

like addition, subtraction, and to some extent multiplication.  Some

examples (trivial, but you can figure out the rest):






(This second is X times VIII, plus I times VIII twice)


Arabic numeral calculations _seem_ easier to us because most of us

have spent ten years or more learning how to do them.  (Some of us

still have problems...I do all my accounts on Spreadsheets...)


As for a Roman Zero...eh?  What's the point?  Roman numerals don't

need a zero for any purpose.  After all, the purpose of a zero in

Arabic is as a placeholder:  it's what distinguishes 1 from 1000.  In

Roman, you don't need the placeholder:  I is not M, and anyone can see



(There are two basic types of numeration:  additive, like Roman

numerals, and positional, like the Arabic system.  For whatever

reason, the Greeks adopted the worst of both worlds, a hideous blend

of both positional and additive numeration.)


(Hmm...the mathematician in me says that it's a truism that

mathematicians can't do arithmetic.  I wonder if the Greek numeration

system and the difficulty of doing arithmetic with it is what caused

the Greeks to be great mathematicians...hmmm..)





Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Origins of 0

From: una at bregeuf.stonemarche.org (Honour Horne-Jaruk)

Date: Thu, 17 Apr 97 04:59:32 EDT


thrash at interlog.com (Derek Mcdonald) writes:

> Ok, so it goes back a long way and came into common use around 1500

> (1492) here but this still leaves one question..what the hell did people

> use in place of 0 before it became common place?


       Respected friend:

       That's the whole thing right there- they _didn't_. They had no

way of marking an empty place. That's why the zero was adopted so

enthusiastically; it speeded mathematics up by something like 6:1 over

Roman numerals.

       If this seems confusing, think of this; the whole set of

"Arabic" numerals are based on a series of counted angles. Thus,

one has one angle (1 didn't used to have a base line) two has two

angles (In the script used by the folks who developed this originally

there was no letter z, so the original 2 didn't get confused with

it). and so on, clear up to 9; but how do you signify a space-holder

under such a system? Obviously, you make a shape with _no_ angles-

a O.

       Actually, by the standards of the time, the nice gentlemen of

India who invented the concept of O were _crazy_. Why would any sane

person invent a way to say "nothing" in mathematics? (_We_ know it

works. They had no reason to believe it had any point or purpose,

until "Arabic" numerals turned out to make  math so astonishingly


       Ever try subtraction in Roman numerals? Ugh.


                               Alizaunde, Demoiselle de Bregeuf

                               Una Wicca (That Pict)

                               (Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.



Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 13:08:27 -0400 (EDT)

From: Maradin at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: spelling


In a message dated 97-05-07 12:32:38 EDT, you write:


<< Anybody have satisfying answers? >>

As a specialist in the history of the English language, I'll put in my

ha'p'nce worths.  First, understand that written systems tend to evolve

around arbitrary symbols which communicate commonly understood meaning.

Egyptian heiroglyphs (which I admittedly know little about) represent

concepts and objects.  Ancient American Indian pictures also were forms of

communication. As far as *specific* written systems, one can go syllabic

(i.e., the Japanese system and, I think, Cherokee) or alphabetic.  It is the

alphabetic systems which attempt to represent one character for each sound.

The problem which plagued Western Europe is that they basically used the

same alphabet (thought by some to be a Phonecian adaptation of Hebraic

characters), modified to include certain sounds which don't exist in other

languages. That said, understand also that there is strong evidence which

indicates that *all* spelling in its origins is phonetic (including Latin).

What Latin didn't have to contend with which other languages did is that the

language was not, originally, that of a nation but a group within the nation.

The dialect of Latin (at least, the one we associate with Latin) is that of

Rome. Other dialects eventually became the Romance languages:  French,

Spanish, Italian, Romanian, and Portuguese.  What happened to Latin (as in

other languages with an established spelling system) is that the spelling

remained frozen while the phonology changed.  Hence, when scholars speak of

Latin, one must ask whether one refers to Vulgate Latin, Classical Latin, or

Ecclesiastical Latin.  The spelling's the same, but the pronunciations differ



How does this apply to English??  First of all, understand that our spelling

reflects the pronunciation of around 500 years ago, *not* modern

pronunciations. The movable type printing press comes to England in 1474

when Caxton prints his first book.  As a result of this sudden shift in

technology, the move to actually standardise English spelling began.  The

problem we run in to is that the press didn't just hit one dialect region of

England; it hit several, and so there were for a number of years several

systems of spelling.  It isn't until Dr. Samuel Johnson publishes his

_Dictionary_ in 1755 that the standardisation movement gains any level of

impetus. Johnson's work, however, omits two letters we use today:  j and u.

All the words beginning with J are lumped in with the Is and the Us in with

the Vs (he was trying to go back to that "purer" Latin alphabet).  As such,

the concept of "correct" spelling cannot truly be argued in period English

literature; one simply spelled.  The French are an entirely different matter,

as they've had an entirely standardised language for several centuries before

England did.  I believe that, to this day, the French Academie does not

recognise such commonly used words as "input" and "output" as parts of the

French vocabulary (they're still foreign borrowings).


Interesting sidenote:  in Middle English, the main difference between F and V

were dialectical (F in the north and V in the south).  Hence, the

standardisation movement compromised between the two dialects in certain

words, the most notorious being the male and the female fox.  Up north, they

were "fox" and "fixen"; in the south, "vox" and "vixen".


My bibliography for this:


Fromkin, Victoria, and Robert Rodman.  _An Introduction to Language._  4th

ed. Fort Worth:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1988.


Holman, C. Hugh, and William Harmon.  _A Handbook to Literature._  6th ed.

New    York:  Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992.


Houck, Charles.  ENG 520:  Introduction to Linguistics.  Graduate course at

Ball State University.  Fall semester, 1992.


---. ENG 622:  History of English.  Graduate course at Ball State

University. June-July 1993.


O'Grady, William, et. al.  _Contemporary Linguistics:  An Introduction._  2nd

ed. New York, St. Martin's P, 1991.


Pyles, Thomas, and John Algeo.  _The Origins and Development of the English

Language._ 4th ed.  Fort Worth:  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College

Publishers, 1993.


Hope this helps---any unanswered questions??  :-)





From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 12:32:38 -0500

Subject: SC - Scribal errors


Having just responded to Allison (and then read Adamantius saying the same

thing I did rather more succinctly), I am reminded of another tale of similar

confusion, with the same moral (look at all the surviving manuscripts you can



If you work from the Pegge edition of Forme of Curye, you will find therein

a recipe for Viande of Cypres that calls for oatmeal.  Taken by itself,

this is one heck of a puzzle.  There are lots of other recipes in other

collections for the same dish, none of which call for oatmeal.  Virtually all

do call for dates, which this one doesn't.


Go to Hieatt and Butler, _Cury on Inglysch_, where this is recipe 100.  

They worked from a bunch of surviving related manuscripts, of which eight

(including one that Constance Hieatt found after publication, and described,

along with a list of errata and additions to CoI, in a separate article).  Of

the eight, four call for "ootmele" or "mele" or something similar; one

(fairly far removed from the original) calls for damsin plums, and the other

three call for dates.  At the same position.


What the heck happened?


It's impossible to know, but here's a simple conjecture.  At one point in this

collection's history, a scribe was copying a manuscript.  The recipe he was

copying was supposed to say "Take dates"; but the "d" on "dates" had lost

its ascender (either through aging of the MS, or by an error of the previous

scribe), so he found himself looking at "Take oates..."


"Take *oats*?" says our scribe to himself -- not a cook, and knowing just

enough to get future generations into trouble.  "They *can't* mean fodder.

Surely it should be oat*meal*."  And he "corrects".


There is very strong evidence that virtually all period culinary collections

went through the hands of a lot of scribes, most of whom weren't cooks.

Scribal error happens in all sorts of texts.  When a scribe has trouble

making something out in a culinary text, he is likely to have less knowledge

to guide his choice than with other sorts.  You have to look out for stuff

like this.  It's why pros, given a choice, use as many original sources

as they can.  Sometimes, that's still one, and you're stuck. But where there

are more, it helps.


A couple of other quick ones: there's a recipe in Laud 553 (published in

Austin, on page 113) titled "Cyuele".  This, by itself, is not particularly

odd. (The medial "u" represents a "v" in this context, so it's not a

particularly implausible word.)  The problem: there is no other recipe in

the corpus titled anything like that -- but there *are* two surviving

recipes (in Diuersa Cibaria, published in _CoI_, and in an Anglo-Norman

collection) called "Emeles" -- and they're clearly the same recipe as this one.


What's going on?  Someone who has studied the Laud manuscript directly

tells me that it certainly does say "Cyuele" -- and it's hard to see

how Austin could have misread "m" as "yu".  But look at it from the

other direction: the Emeles recipes are earlier, after all.


In this general time frame, an upper case E is easy to misread as C.

A lower case m is virtually indistinguishable from either in or iu.

A scribe looked as "Em", and saw "Ciu", giving him "Ciueles".  That

being (as he well recognized!) hard to read, he "simplified"

orthographically by substituting a "y" for the "i".  And voila.

Again, we can't know; but it's far more likely than the assumption

that this dish had two distinct names that are so similar from a

paleographic standpoint and so dissimilar from any other.


Editors can fall into the same trap.  The Society of Antiquaries edition

of Arundel 334 (among many, many errors) provides "Raynecles" as the

title of a recipe.  Raynecles?  Another unique name....


Actually not.  The editors misread it -- partly, I suspect, because

they weren't expecting the actual name, which they associated with

a totally different cuisine, but which is in fact a standard of the

Anglo-Norman repertoire.


I've seen the manuscript.  What it says is "Rayueoles".  The "u" is

again a "v"; what we have here, in a slightly dialecticized spelling,

is ravioles.  And indeed, that's what the recipe describes.


That really is an "e" where the SoA edition has "c"; you can spot

the additional ductus stroke, if you look carefully, though you do have

to study for it.  And "u" and "n" are virtually indistinguishable in

this hand (and most like it).  The mistake was a reasonable one; but

it was a mistake.


So: when you spot something like "mastic" in a cammeline recipe, it

behoves you to be a little cautious.  Even if you're reading right,

and the translator was translating reasonably, and the editor of the

original (whether the same person as the translator or another)

transcribed it reasonably (and the latter two certainly don't eliminate

the possibility of introduced error), the scribe who wrote the

manuscript may well have gotten it wrong.  Determining that he did

is a complex job, usually requiring comparison with a number of

manuscripts (and similar recipes from other collections can shed

light on it).  So one doesn't want to be too quick to assume.  But

it's wise at least to keep it in mind.


But I've rambled more than enough!


- -- Katerine/Terry



Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 09:55:44 -0500

From: Wendy Colbert <WendyC at vivid.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period hebrew calligraphy


>>> Secondly, Yes, Hebrew, both modern & anciet has vowels: hay,

>>> vav,yud,eyin, and sometimes, sort-of....aleph.

>>> Phillipa

>> Good luck, and remember, written medieval Hebrew is like Welsh:

>> there no #$%&*!#!! vowels!  ;-)

>> Twcs (5 days til PhD defense...ahg!!!!!!)

>Actually, Twcs is right -- a lot of formal written Hebrew, even to today,

>does not indicate the vowels.  Torahs are written without vowels.


But I am not doing a formal piece and I do need to write the vowels.


>Just in case you thought it was hard enough reading Hebrew going backwards,

>with accents, silent and spoken vowels (depending), AND two different

>pronunciation sets.......


Ah, but hebrew does have vowels, to give them their transliterations_

Patach, Kubutz,Chirik,Segol,Kamatz,Tzeirei,Cholam,Shuruk,Sheva,Chataf

Patach,Chataf Segol, Chataf Kamatz and Kamatz Katan.


Since the piece I am working from is a primer for children (a first

teaching book, as it were) it does include the vowels. And a kettubah from

the same era and region also shows vowels.

The vowels in this primer are Kamatz Katan, Patach,Segol,

Tzeirei,Chirik,Cholam (in the form without the vav),Kubutz and Shuruk





Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 22:11:10 -0500

From: James Gilly / Alasdair mac Iain <alasdair.maciain at snet.net>

Subject: Re: SV: SC - redaction challenge


At 21:19 11-2-99 +0100, Angus MacIomhair wrote:

>> [Brokk]  What is this long s character?

>> Could someone please describe what it looks like?

>> A long s to me is an integration sign, but somehow i don't think

>> applies in this context.


The long S is the alternate form of S that's used in German (the old

Frakturdruekschrift) and Greek, and used to be used in English, except at

the end of words.  It's what makes "success," for example, look like

"fuccefs." Not sure when, or why, it went out of favour....


Alasdair mac Iain


Laird Alasdair mac Iain of Elderslie

Dun an Leomhain Bhig

Canton of Dragon's Aerie [southeastern CT]

Barony Beyond the Mountain  [northern & southeastern CT]

East Kingdom



Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 21:20:25 +1100

From: Zebee Johnstone <zebeej at gmail.com>

Subject: [Lochac] scriby things: change in script

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


More from  at erik_Kwakkel, a video on the change in medieval hands from

Carolingial to Gothic.







Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:46:50 +1100

From: Zebee Johnstone <zebeej at gmail.com>

Subject: [Lochac] more alphabets

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


Well I dunno you'd want to write much in this one, your speed would be

around 2 words a day if that.




I do like the woman being pulled from the horn by a bird in the bottom row,

and the very bored man being stabbed by someone who is having trouble

working out which end of the sword goes in other guy.


(I am not sure that climbing up your opponent's belt is legal in sword and

buckler play, but maybe it is if you are using wooden cudgels?)





Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 06:34:01 +1000

From: Zebee Johnstone <zebeej at gmail.com>

Subject: [Lochac] learning to write the alphabet

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>




hornbooks, exemplars, and surviving examples of student's work from

the late 1500s.


OK, I'm not that old but it's bringing back painful memories!





Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 12:12:54 +1000

From: Rebecca Lucas <rebe.lucas at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] learning to write the alphabet

To: lochac at lochac.sca.org



<<< In this picture...

http://collation.folger.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/0062361.jpg?? where

are the U? and W in the alphabet?


When I look at the trouble my students have with a basic printing job in

block letters versus this type of printing...?


At least the *rest* of the curriculum is better off in the way of facts and



Oskar >>>



You forgot they have a 'J' and not an 'I'!


Short story is that 'u' was used as a 'v' in the middle or end of a

word, while 'v' was used at the beginning. Like using long-s and s in

words. So 'have' for example was spelled 'haue' and 'unto' was spelled



Eventually 'v' was used for the consonant and 'u' for the vowel sounds.

'W' is 'double u', because it used to be 'u u' or 'v v' and eventually

became a ligature 'vv' and then it's very own letter 'w'.


[I'm] Sure better language geeks could explain it better,





From the FN "SCA" group:


David Takacs  

10:14pm Nov 10




<the end>

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