[Spellyans] Shall we vote on diacritics just now?

j.mills at email.com j.mills at email.com
Tue Feb 1 09:11:23 GMT 2011

I am with Michael on this one. KS with diacritics is by far the best orthography for Cornish so far. It is clear and unambiguous. I take Eddie's point about his typing speed. However, most people's objections to diacritics seem to me irrational; they merely state that they do not like them, without addressing the linguistic concerns that are entailed. Nevertheless, I suspect that among the Cornish language community as a whole, diacritics are not popular, and that the majority will need to be persuaded if they are to adopt the use of diacritics.
Ol an gwella,

Dr. Jon Mills, 
University of Kent

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>
To: Standard Cornish discussion list <spellyans at kernowek.net>
Sent: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 9:03 pm
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] Shall we vote on diacritics just now?

On 31 Jan 2011, at 19:08, Eddie Climo wrote:
> Are we yet ready, fellow Spellyansoryon, to consider a consensual rewording of  
he KS formal spec vis à vis the precise rôle recommened by us for diacritical 
igns in KS? Perhaps we need more time to discuss the issue. Perhaps not.
 I call for a vote; does anyone second the motion that we vote on the following 
orm of words? 
> Spellyans believes that diacritics in KS be highly recommended in 
exicographic/reference/didactic material, but be optional in other writings, at 
he discretion of the writer/publisher/teacher.
I don't think so. In the first place I oppose this attempt to railroad the 
iscussion into a vote with such haste. (In the second I find your proposed 
ording to be unacceptable.) 
Yesterday I gave a number of good reasons for the opposition yesterday. I note 
hat you did not respond to any particular of the linguistic argument; you 
erely said that you did not agree with it holus bolus. (The same sort of 
on-response was given by Bailey and friends to Towards Authentic Cornish.) 
ainsaying is not argument. 
KS orthography is what it is. It has been designed to be an accurate unambiguous 
rthography. As such it does not differ from the orthography of French or Irish 
r Hungarian. If a person cannot or will not follow the orthography because of 
echnical or volitional reasons, then all this implies is that the person cannot 
r will not follow the orthography. 
KS would not be accurate or unambiguous if its recommendation were to be watered 
own. I can see no linguistic advantage to wavering on the recommendation that 
ood practice is to use diacritical marks, and indeed I can see no political 
dvantage to doing so in advance of any possible discussion with others in two 
ears' time. 
ix Cornish letters can take diacritical marks to make pronunciation clear. 
â, à, ê, è, ë, î, ô, ò, û, ù, ÿ
These diacritical marks are important and should be learned as a proper part of 
he words which have them. If you write them regularly, they will help you to 
ronounce words more correctly, and they will help others to read what you write 
ore easily. 
That is a description of good practice. We mandate good practice in KS, and have 
ince its inception. If one wishes to derogate from that practice, then one is 
erogating. Please don't ask us to *recommend* inaccuracy or ambiguity. We must 
im high. 
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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