Re: rendering greek letters and accents
On Wed, 30 Nov 1994 CheeseyDog@aol.com wrote:
> I have been on this list now for several weeks, and I'm still trying to
> figure out how to render the Greek alphabet. Are there accepted rules? I've
> noticed that omega is rendered with a "w", presumably because of the
> similarity in appearance, but this does not seem to be the rule of thumb.
> For example, sometimes "h" stands for a rough breathing mark (houtos), while
> at other times I have seen it used as an eta (kainh). Another example:
> theos OR Qeos? Is everybody winging it, or are there guidelines?
You have rightly observed that there isn't any CONSISTENT approach to
this matter. There is, to be sure, a standard called "TLG Beta Code"
which involves using open- and close-parentheses for smooth and rough
breathings, left- and right- slash-marks for acute and grave accents
(before the vowel in question), a standard correspondence list for the
alphabetic characters, etc. Occasionally we post that system on this
list, but it is readily available at the TLG gopher site, the e-address
of which escapes me, but I suspect Ted Brunner will post that when he
sees your message or my reply. The easy thing that many do is to use
lower-case corresponding characters for all of the Greek alphabetic
characters but an upper-case O and E for omega and eta. I'm not
consistent myself, but I tend to use an "w" for omega and "h" for eta
EXCEPT when I've got a word with both an eta and a rough-breathing in it,
such as hEmeis = "we"; still other conventions are used by some:
depending on what they type in their Greek font software to get a
character, they'll use the keyboard equivalently, whereby J = Xi in my
own GreekKeys Mac software, but final-sigma (I believe) in some others.
Although we are idiosyncratic and inconsistent, I don't think it happens
very often that it is unclear which correspondences are intended.
I greet you personally out there in west St. L. County!
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com