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Re: Tamil computing - what it is all about
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 09:15:23 -0800
From: George Hart <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: George Hart <email@example.com>,
To: "Dr.K. Kalyanasundaram" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
A sad commentary on the state of Tamil -- the speakers of the language
so little regard for their heritage that major works are not available.
The people who trumpet their love for Tamil will not give a pice to
purchase Tamil classics or support their publication. Books which were
readily available 20 or 30 years ago are now totally unavailable. I can
only repeat Mylai Cini Venkatasami's remark about the Tamil who dumped
thousands of Tamil manuscripts into the canal on Sarasvati Puja day:
kazutaikku teriyumaa karpuuravaacanai? I'll say one thing: this devout
book-burner certainly had a sense of irony.
In any event, I do not understand Kalyan's insistence that works be
published with their original "glyphs." Why in the world would we want
do that? The original Tolkappiyam was probably written in a variant of
Brahmi -- only a handful of people could even decypher it! The fact is,
do NOT need the old-style script or the numerals. This is for a very
reason: as I have stated many times, a standard should be invariant.
should not have 2 choices about how to encode the same text. There is
absolutely no need for the old-style letters -- the new ones produce
exactly the same combination of signs. I should note that if someone is
uncomfortable with the new writing system, there is nothing to prevent
or her from designing a font that has the old one and converting from
new to the old with a simple Word macro.
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