What’s in a Word? Or a Letter?

Yesterday, “DC” dropped by my blog and stopped to chat a little about his ideas regarding the VM.

He quoth:

Has it ever been considered that what is thought of as a character is actually a whole word? 200 pages is not much space to write a detailed medical book. Compressing words into characters would allow a lot of space saving. This insight offered to me when attempting to decipher Korean code in a programming problem.

In chemistry there would be perhaps the twenty most common words like boil, concentration, titrate, pH, dissolve, temperature, etc along with a method for constructing odd terms. These would correspond to a letter. There needs to be numbers also. If I were a student or teacher of chemistry I would and have made my own shorthand. Try keeping up with university physics lectures and making notes in prose. It is not practical, it’s onerous and wastes precious lab time also.

So when these frequency analyses are done, they seem to be cross-correlated with languages in general, why not specific science books of the time written in deciphered languages?

Why not start by taking a science book often time, finding the most common words like boil and dry and dissolve and make the shorthand. Write out the book in shorthand, do a frequency analysis and then cross correlate that with the manuscript?

Point of contact/website/blog:: enrol@DivinIT.com

DC, while the idea is certainly novel and interesting, I think it doesn’t really pan out. First of all, the better part of the VM seems to be composed of only some 17 different letters. So, unless you summon micrography from its unholy depths to rear its ugly head, you only have a base vocabulary of 17 different words, which will be just enough for a Fox newscast, but not much more.

In addition, the VM words are clearly structured and composed according to to a “grammar”. IIUC correctly, this would correspond to sentences with a very strict sense not only of word order (subject-predicate-object, eg), but of even repeating the very words. This is most notable in the notorious double and threefold repetitions of identical or near-identical words, which is difficult enough to comprehend if we take a VM word as a plaintext word. (Which was one of the starting points for my Stroke theory, BTW.) But if I understand you correctly, you’d say that whole sentences were repeated near-identically for several times? — I’m not sure that would make the read worthwhile.

What does the rest of the world think?

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One thought on “What’s in a Word? Or a Letter?

  1. Hi Elmar,
    I’m not sure whether you stopped to check the various senses in which ‘micrography’ is used, so I thought I’d pass on a link. In manuscript studies, it usually means a particularly miniscule (not minuscule) script, which in western manuscripts is taken by default as indicating Jewish Rabbanite or -Karaite hand. Examples also occur in Islamic calligraphy. It does not usually include scripts on e.g. jewels. Within Jewish manuscripts per se, this finest of scripts is usually worked into forms of ornament. I assume you did not know this, to judge by the way you describe micrography.
    http://www.jtsa.edu/prebuilt/exhib/microg/index.shtml

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