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Grapheme clusters, a.k.a.real characters


Steven D'Aprano wrote:

>On Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:34 am, Mikhail V wrote:
>> Ok, in this narrow context I can also agree.
>> But in slightly wider context that phrase may sound almost like:
>> "neither geometrical shape is better than the other as a basis
>> for a wheel. If you have polygonal wheels, they are still called wheels."


> I'm not talking about wheels, I'm talking about writing systems which are
> fundamentally collections of arbitrary shapes. There's nothing about the sound
> of "f" that looks like the letter "f".

> But since you mentioned non-circular wheels, such things do exist, and are still
> called "wheels" (or "gears", which is a kind of specialised wheel).

> https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ937593
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-circular_gear
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_wheel
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vk7s4PfvCZg


Triangular wheels, sure, why not?
A default "wheel" in a conversation, unless other meaning stated,
is a common wheel of a bike or a car. At least I believe so, but since I'm
non-native speaker I may be wrong.

As well as the default merit of goodness of a writing system is how
easy one can read texts in it (_a healthy person, done with the
learning process_).

Fundamentally, yes, a system in theory can be a set of _any_ shapes.
This means that its goodness, in respect to the shapes alone,
can vary from absolute zero (as e.g. in a hand-written recipe from a doctor :)
and up to the optimum domain.

Even if we take more obvious criteria - the ease of input -
I suppose it is obvious that inputting German text by rules which need initial
Caps in _all_ nouns, is harder than inputting the same text without Caps.
Same for inputting diacritics.
It is also pretty obvious that these Caps makes it harder to read in general.
(more obvious that excessive diacritics, like in French)

Thus, even in a narrow context, "no system is better or worse" sounds very
suspect to me.


Mikhail