16.136 restricted code

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Fri Aug 02 2002 - 12:20:13 EDT

  • Next message: Humanist Discussion Group: "16.137 varia"

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 136.
          Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

            Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 12:05:47 -0400
            From: Jim Marchand
            Subject: Restricted Code

    We were talking about restricted code and its problems. Being a
    medievalist, I have a cute example from the Middle Ages, reported,
    among others, by B. L. Ullman, Ancient Writing and its Influence.
    Our Debt to Greece and Rome (repr. NY: Cooper Square Publishers,
    1963), 133. Medieval students were not serious like our students
    are, and they liked to play games. Gothic script had many ups and
    downs in it, much like the Suetterlin-Schrift ones German
    grandmother used to use, so that often all you seemed to have were
    short up and down strokes. This was particularly true of m, n, i,
    u, whence all the mistakes of modern editors, who read iudeorum as
    videorum (heaven knows what that is supposed to mean), etc. etc.
    You have to see this to get the effect: The students offered a
    story of short actors not wanting to give up their function of
    distributing wine obtained from certain vineyards near the walls
    and wrote: mimi numinum niuium minimi munium nimium uini muniminum
    imminui uiui minimum uolunt, where only the last word is clear.
    Note that in the Middle Ages, i's did not have dots over them, and
    no distinction was made between u and v, both modern inventions.
    The sentence means: "The very short mimes of the gods of snow do
    not at all wish that during their lifetime the very great burden of
    the wine of the walls be lightened." For those who hold Ullman in
    high regard, as I do, note the error in his English. Auch an
    Ullman habe ich Fehler entdeckt. Back to restricted code: the
    sentences so formed could use only i, u, m, n.

    Jim Marchand

                           Humanist Discussion Group
           Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Aug 02 2002 - 12:30:42 EDT