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Re: [WMASTERS] Grantha etc.
On Mon, 15 Sep 1997, George Hart wrote:
> I should like to make the point that standardizing a Tamil font and
> including "grantha" characters does not mean endorsing their use.
This is what Maraimalai adikal's, Parimelazakar's and my worry is.
I have given in this net historical evidence that this happened
in the past. It has come down mcuh after the tireless works
many like Maraimali adikal. Subsecuently the dravidian parties
which ruled/rule tamilnadu all helped/help development of tamil.
Now, we suggest to the TNG to officially recognize grantha as
part and part of tamil. This is where many misunderstand.
If grantha scripts were not standardized along with tamil
it does not mean they won't be available for use. Therer are
innumerable scripts, characters and figures available on the
internet. Any one who wishes to use why don't they
downl load and use it? What is the need to bundle it
offcially along with tamil? This is where I strongly
oppose others view. There are languuges which have
such phonems naturally in their language. Let them include
those fonts in thier language. Any one who wants to use
those scripts, let take the pain of finding it or switching
fonts and use it. It looks every body is so interested
to save grantha as opposed tamil.
If anyone wants to limit the usage of grnatha scripts and
sanskritise tamil, this is the way. I am sure it will not
eliminate the use of such scripts. Some one argue
that if we do not bundle with our tamil SW, some one is
going to provide those scripts and people who wish to
use are always going to use. I have no worry about
such people. Let them coin tingleskrit words and let
tamils try to over come such attempts.
Where in the world that in font encoding of one language
would worry about the fonts of some other language?
This is the first time I am seeing this attempt.
Instead of talking about tamil fonts, we are wasting most
of our time in talking about something that is foreign
to tamil. Are we going to worry about all other phonems in the
world? No body answered this question.
If not, then why these grandha scripts?
That is when, George, you said, it is part of tamil.
I refuted. Whether we accept or reject grantha as part and part
of tamil is not within our rights. It is history.
I have said very many times that a language is defined by its
phonems. The grantha phonems which some like to include
are quite foreign to tamil.
No body is ready to understand that our "la"s, "na"s and "ra"s
are not there in other languages and no body is going to
include in their language.
> quite possible to feel that Tamil should be written in a pure style without
> foreign sounds while still employing "foreign" characters to transliterate
> a stray word from English or other foreign language.
This is what my point is. Even if some one wants to create
such tingleskrit words let him/her find those for herself.
Why should we make their job easier.
Also, transliteration of foreign words is not the right way
to coin new words. In an earlier mail I gave scientific
examples to prove my point.
I do not doubt Dr. Kalyan's love for tamil and his intention for
including grantha scripts. But, the result of such inclusion
will be evil to tamil in the first place. Second,
if we include grantha for preserving our old works in its
original form as interested by Kalyan, we may need hundreds
of thousands of fonts for tamil alone as its scripts got
changed periodically. This is an impossible task.
That is not the way to preserve old works. It is all
simple. One can photograh it, scan it, microfilm it,
videograph it and store in many forms of bitmap
files. From scalable to RLE, there are many formats
available. This is not a valid reason at all.
I think part of the
> opposition to including grantha is inspired by certain writers who seem to
> use upwards of 50% of English words. My only comment: leaving grantha out
> of the standard will not deter such writers. They'll just develop their
> own fonts and use them.
George, this is a good point. I am quite aware of this.
Some arguments that I wrote above would answer this point.
Stopping some body from using such words is only a minor
point, George. Please understand me.
Recognizing officially those fonts is very dangerous.
It is not a committee constituted by some private vendors.
It is an official committee of government of tamilnadu.
In other words it represents the people of tamilnadu.
Recommending inclusion of grantha scripts by this committee
amounts to that the people of tamilnadu has accepted these
fonts as part of tamil scripts. This not true. That is
when I say it is a disgrace to tamil and should be
prevented by all means.
Just think about murasu-anjal I am using. It may have
grantha scripts. I put the verb "may" because I never
used garantha scripts. That is Muthu's business plan. Who am I
to suggest something on this? Likewise every other
vendor may come up with different fonts and symbols including
a few more from other languages also. That is upto
the individual vendor's choice. It is entirely a different
issue. But a state government should not commit a crime.
Let us take for example , arrack, cigarette, addictive
drugs like coccaine, brown sugar etc. If some one
argues that if govt. would not sell them, then those who
are going to use them may always find ways to get them and we can not
stop them. Therefore, can the govt. legalize and produce
and sell them?
Anyway, you can write quite a bit of English --
> and, for that matter, Sanskrit -- even without grantha (I love you, get
> out, naliniidala, etc.). I'd hate to transliterate "strange" without them,
Please, George, again, look at my point. Transliteration is the
last thing one should do. That is not the first choice.
If you state a particular situation wherein you believe
transliteration is the only way, tell me. I will suggest
Note that both the English and Russian alphabets include letters
> for sounds that are foreign to them: English has "ph," "x," "z," (usually
> used for Greek words) while Russian has "f" (used mainly for French and
> Greek words)
It is not quite right. The sound of "f" and "ph" most of the time
do not differ much as I observed people using these. This sound is
not foreign to English either.
Was there any official effort to include this foreign sound
into English? I do not know. I would appreciate if you
could provide such information.
Again english did not bring in foreign scripts. I do not
know about Russian.
Thanks for rasing these issues which gave me an opportunity
to explain my views. A long time after I see questions addressed
the way I feared.
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