Re: rendering greek letters and accents

On Thu, 1 Dec 1994, Kaare Sigvald Fuglseth wrote:

> Theodore Brunner at the TLG has informed us about the TLG - gopher, the
> exact TLG code can be found there. This code is not always too intuitive,
> so I would suggest a moderated TLG code:
> The letters: 
> A is alpha, B is beta, G is gamma, D is delta, E is epsilon, Z is zeta, H i
> eta, Q is theta, I is iota, K is kappa, L is lambda, M is mu, N is nu, C is
> xi, O is omicron, P is pi, R is rho, S is sigma (also final), T is tau, U
> is upsilon, F is phi, X is chi, Y is psi and W is omega. The * at the
> beginning of a word marks a capital letter.
> The diacritics:
>  / is acute accent, \ is the grave accent, @ is the circumflex, (  is rough
> breathing, ) is smooth breathing,  ^ is iota subscripta, and + is
> diairesis. 
> They all come AFTER the vowel. The breathings come first, then the accents
> and then iota sub and diairesis.
> The punctuation marks etc.:
> ' is apostrophe, is comma, . is period, : is colon, " is quotation, and ;
> is question.
This system looks quite good to me except for the choices for xi and chi. 
Most Greek fonts that I am familiar with assign exactly the reverse set 
of keys for these two: C = chi, X = xi. This assignment seems much 
intuitive to me since the sound of English X is much closer to xi than 
chi and since 'ch' is a common replacement in English derivatives of Greek 
words with chi (archaic <- _)ARCHAI+KO/S_).

Why not adopt Kaare's suggestion with this minor change, at least for the 
letters? We could then have a system which is very easy to understand, 
leaving the diacritics as optional, to be used when necessary to avoid 

Of course I wouldn't want to infringe on anyone's sense of freedom, but 
if enough of us adopt this system maybe others will follow.

Micheal Palmer
Mellon Research Fellow
Department of Linguistics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill