[Spellyans] Is there a future for the SWF?

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sun May 20 11:54:57 BST 2012

On 20 May 2012, at 11:13, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> For cooperation, Maga needs people who actually operate. If traditional graph users largely stay out of the picture, then they have no reason to see the need for their use.

When I have sent in announcements about books to MAGA for their monthly publication, I have provided text in English and Cornish. They re-spell the Cornish. And despite the fact that they know we are traditionalists, they have to be TOLD explicitly to use /T graphs or they won't. 

> You're there, I'm there, but I can't think of anyone who is as adamant about their use apart from us. A few swing both ways and aren't bothered by it… 

We got the Maga Glossary in two editions, SWF/K and SWF/T because I insisted rather loudly about it. Then MAGA refused to give parity even linking the two versions from the main page. They only linked the SWF/K version. I complained about that, but wasn't heard. I pointed out transcription errors in the SWF/T version but these were not corrected and a new version issued. 

> I don't wish to place blame or say "it's there fault" , but I cannot stop thinking that if Nicholas's excellent translations (THE Bible!!!!!!!, among many others) and Michael's beautiful publications had been done in the SWF/T it could have strengthened our position ….

Cornish deserves better than a mediocre compromise put together by non-linguists. The SWF was a major step forward, but the fact is that it's hardly usable. Had we not corrected many of its faults, there would be far more spelling errors in Evertype publications simply because we would have had to be second-guessing our spellings rather than producing good literature. 

I could not, Dan, in good conscience, have spent the time and money on publishing in the chimera that is the SWF, because it simply isn't good enough. It was designed by people who were not linguists. Now, their accomplishment was prodigious. It is amazing and wonderful that the AHG came up with anything at all. And there is much good in the SWF. 


But after the political agreements were made, linguists needed to examine the SWF for leaks and plug them. But that review wasn't scheduled for five years. And there's still no guarantee that people with a high degree of skill and interest will be permitted to partipate. 

We could have waited until 2013 in hopes that the SWF would be improved. But that wasn't the agreement. 

The agreement was that the CLP and Maga had to use the SWF and everyone else could use what they liked. We chose to give up UCR, and we chose to fix the SWF, because we're linguists. ("We" means Spellyans, where there are many linguists as well as others.) We were not obliged to continue to use UCR. We were not obliged to using the SWF. We used a better orthography than either of them. 

And now you have your Alice, and your Treasure Island, and your Bible. And there is more forthcoming. A lot more.

> well I don't know by what factor, but considerably anyway…

Well, I would not be so optimistic.

> I know Michael's position is that KS is based on the SWF and corrects its mistakes, -

That is not my "position". It is a statement of fact. Someone might argue that some elements are not mistakes, or someone might have preferred a different solution here and there, but it *is* based on the SWF and it *does* correct its mistakes. 

> to most people at Maga, KS is just another Cornish orthography they don't use or support, on par with UC/R, RLC and KK… anyway, definitely NOT SWF, so it's benevolently tolerated, their publications listed, but not otherwise actively supported. 

We are, I think, concerned with the Revival, not with "people at Maga", who don't really engage with us. Cornish deserves an orthography which passes academic muster and which can be used with confidence and without doubt. KS isn't perfect. It could mark the uŝy/uĵy words with a circumflex, for example (in which case the bÿs/bës words might be bŷs/bês, if that didn't bring with it a font problem). 

It's very sweet to think that the folks at Maga "benevolently tolerate" our publications. 

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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