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[WMASTERS] Selvaa's suggestions on Grantha


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Frankly, I don't really care what conventions are adopted -- whatever they
are, if they are widely accepted, we will all get used to them.  This even
means changing the alphabet entirely -- one could argue quite cogently that
Tamil would be best served by throwing away the present alphabet,
forgetting it, and writing in some sort of Roman transliteration.  That
would also solve our problems here!

Since that's not likely to happen, let's consider Selvaa's suggestions.
They are ingenious, no doubt, but I feel they do violence to the language
and the writing system (sorry, Selvaa).  The reason is the following:

The Tamil writing system carefully follows Tamil phonetics and Tamil
grammar.  Traditionally, as you know, only certain sounds are allowed to
come together.  This system has been preserved remarkably intact -- even
such a Magazine as Ananda Vikatan uses it most of the time.  Selvaa's
attempts to get rid of grantha letters amount (to me, at least) cutting off
one's nose to spite one's face.  I would hate to disturb the rest of
Tolkappiyar by such strange combinations as zcT -- they look more like
Tibetan to me than Tamil.  It seems much better to leave Tamil letters for
Tamil words and use borrowed lettered for borrowed sounds.  This ironically
is far less harmful to the purity of the language (in my opinion, at least)
than using strange combinations of Tamil letters that do not fit the
language and have not been sanctioned by its Grammarians.

I do appreciate Selvaa's desire to represent voiced stops (Gandhi).  In
fact, I wouldn't even mind seeing the aspiration represented in Tamil (as
it is in English).  Then, maybe, we wouldn't encounter "Ghandi" so often in
English written by Tamilians!  G. Hart.


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