[Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sat Jul 12 07:26:38 IST 2008

At 22:39 +0000 2008-07-11, Mary Williams wrote:
>I wonder what this list is really for. Michael 
>asks for opinions, but when anyone disagrees 
>with his own view he tells them they're wrong. 
>Then he says the matter is closed and it has to 
>be how he has decided. Sorry, but what's the 
>point of asking people to take the time to make 
>helpful suggestions and then ignoring them?

Someone was complaining that we were talking round in circles recently.

(1) We know we have an [e:]-class of words which have [e:] in both RMC and RLC.

(2) We know we have an [i:]-class of words which have [i:] in both RMC and RLC

(3) We know we have an [I] class of short 
unstressed words which have [I] in both RMC and 

(4). We know we have an [i:]~[e:]-class of words 
which have [i:] in RMC and [e:] in RLC. (KK 
theory says it is [I:]~[e:] but few if anyone 
actually achieves a distinction between [I:] and 
[i:]. Some KK users use [I] here but then they 
are getting the vowel length wrong anyway.)

SWF gives us <i> for (1), <e> for (2), <y> for 
(3), and <y>~<e> for (4). That's there. Done and 
dusted. It will be used by the Council and in 

A solution which treads lightly on the SWF changes (4) to <ÿ>~<ë>.

Other solutions, like going back to the umbrella 
graphs <ei> or <ey>, simply take us further away 
from the SWF. I don't believe that that is a good 
idea; it will make the books we wish to publish 
less accessible to learners of the SWF, and it 
will give fuel to those who want to point out 
what a failure the SWF is (since they want KK 
"restored" to its former "position", it seems).

We have also recently seen some people attempt to 
say that there are not four clesses as described 
above, but I do not think that this is credible.

On this matter then, since I am the editor of the 
KS description and grammar, I judge that we've 
got enough information on this point to take a 
decision and close the discussion on this 
particular point.

Did you see another alternative to taking a decision on this partcular point?

>By the way, Craig appears to have just 
>demonstrated that doing accents isn't a simple 
>matter for us mere mortals.

And yet millions of Europeans manage it every 
day. (As an aside, yesterday in a bookstore here 
in Budapest I notice a book by Charlotte Brontë.)
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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