Thursday, November 17, 2005

'Qness' or the tradition of 'Q'

I had a very positive reaction to the Telex input method mentioned by Michael Farris and quoted in my Unikey post. (f, s, r, x, j become the tone keys) Afterall, the index fingers on the 'f' and 'g' keys, are made for multitasking.

However, Mark saw it differently. His reaction was "Ackj! Ohx myg eyesf!" and I thought "What does this have to do with his eyes?" His sensitive fingers maybe - but surely not his eyes.

This alerted me to the fact that not everyone perceives the relationship between the key and the letter stenciled on it in the same way. For me there is an arbitrary relationship at best between the letter portrayed on the key and the key itself.

A key may have a certain English letter stenciled on it but no one key has any one letter as its essential quality. The quality of the upper left lettered key is not 'Qness'; it simply happens to have 'Q 'stenciled on it. It has no 'Qness' unless I am typing in the Latin alphabet on a QWERTY keyboard. Then I assign it temporary 'Qness'.

So I was surprised to read another post today on the Better Bibles Blog in which I discovered that indeed there are others who believe in essential 'Qness' or in "Wisdom in the Q Tradition".

From Announcing a perfectly accurate Bible Translation I heard for the first time about a new Bible translation theory in the tradition of 'Q'. Here is an oft-quoted verse in this new translation.

"hOUTWS GAR HGAPHSEN hO QEOS TON KOSMON, hWSTE TON hUION TON MONOGENH EDWKEN, hINA PAS hO PISTEUWN EIS AUTON MH APOLHTAI ALL' ECHi ZWHN AIWNION."

While Mike Sangrey, the author of this post, intends to publish a dictionary of neologisms to support this new translation, I believe that Mark S. would be able to shortcut that process significantly by teaching readers how to understand the essential quality of each key. They need to realize that the letter stenciled on the key is, in fact, the literal *signification* of that key, and any divergence from this literal truth is a perversion of the intent of the original author of the keyboard.

I, however, am not such a literalist, and tend to be more flexible in my assignment of essential qualities. I am a Thomas concerning the 'Qness' of Q and and open to consider the possiblility that 'Q' may actually represent Θ in this context.

Note: Mike Sangrey offers a complementary sushi knife for those who order this translation today.

Update #1:

I guess I should explain this. Q is not actually the input key for Greek theta when using a Greek Unicode keyboard. However, in the symbol font, a Greek look-alike font for Latin, theta replaces q.

Here is the qwerty keyboard set for the Symbol font. I hope it works.

qwertyuiop
qwertyuiop

asdfghjkl
asdfghjkl

zxcvbnm
zxcvbnm

And there is the mysterious little digamma, (#6) I believe, fourth from the end in the 'v' position. Correct me if I am wrong.

Update #2

This is the same text as the quote above but with symbol as the defined font. It is the Latin character set with a Greek look-alike font. It had me fooled the first time I saw it. Somehow I learned to use Greek Unicode first and then I saw this. But for many people it is the other way around.

This is John 3:16. For God so loved the world...

OUTWS GAR HGAPHSEN O QEOS TON KOSMON, WSTE TON UION TON MONOGENH EDWKEN, INA PAS O PISTEUWN EIS AUTON MH APOLHTAI ALL ECH ZWHN AIWNION.

4 Comments:

Blogger Wayne Leman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Sushi, Qushi, Θushi!

It all sounds fishy to me, Suzanne.

Oh, I grew up catching fish commercial and still enjoy eating it.

Mike's new translation, on the other hand, might take some getting used to, but it does look promising. It's kinda qute!

:-)

10:59 PM  
Blogger Michael Farris said...

There's at least three different (interacting) questions here.

One is values assigned to letters in encoding different languages. Here, I think experience plays a big (though not exclusive) role. I've studied enough different languages that use Roman script (in the broad sense) in unique ways that I have virtually no resistance adding adding new, language specific, values to each letter. J, for example, has no intrinsic value to me apart from language, in which case it turns into [j] [Z] [dZ] or [x] (or whatever) depending on what language I'm reading at the time. It's default (not the same thing as intrinsic) value is [dZ] but that's because my native language is English, but I don't hear [dZ] in a Spanish or German text, for example.

Another is for assignable values to Roman letters in writing languages not normally written in Roman script. Here, things partly depend on the purpose. For reasons of my own, I was checking out ways that Bulgarian speakers utilize the Roman alphabet for writing Bulgarian, presumably when the cyrillic isn't available (as far as I know, there's no 'official' romanization of Bulgarian). Anyway, the usage is all over the map with letters that aren't so easy to indicate in ASCII so that /tS/ is 'ch' or 4(!), the letter y represents either [j] or [V] etc. I don't know what my point is, here, I'll move on ...

The third is what key do you type to see what symol on your screen and is there any lag time. I don't mind typing f to get a falling tone for example typing 'laf' to get là with unikey, partly because I never _see_ laf on the screen. As soon as I type the f, the a is replaced with à. If Unikey didn't make that change instantly, that is if I had to type in a text that looked like "Tooi laf ngwowif Myx owr Ba lan" and then do some operation on it to turn it into Tôi là người Mỹ ở Ba lan. (I'm an American living in Poland). Then my reaction would be like Mark's.
Ohx myq gord!
Maybe the pinyin version doesn't make the change automatically?

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Suz said...

Thanks for dividing it up like this Michael. I see it this way too.

I think Mark is just having some fun with the notion as Mike Sangrey also did on the Better Bibles Blog. I was amused to see his post at the same time as we were talking it.

This points out the value of Das Keyboard, a spoof keyboard posted on the internet some time ago.

http://www.felix-beck.de/pics/weblog/digital_class/keyboard/das_keyboard.gif

Or even better the detechnologized keyboard here.

http://www.felix-beck.de/wordpress/?p=111

I think the world is ready for this one. :-)

Suz

6:23 PM  

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