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VMs: All quiet on the VMS front
Thought I'd take advantage of the silence to make mention of a
couple of my projects and concerns.
One of my projects is creating a thumbnail version of the herbals
without the text involved, somewhat like what would be found in
16th century woodcuts. Quite a few of them are already available
on my site, www.baconbooks.net. Many are linked to images already
available, and I'm creating images of the rest, though the quality
of these images will be drastically reduced. I was asked by a
young student if small images were available, which gave me the
idea to make a set of relatively small thumbnails of the herbs
My ongoing project is a workable transcription, which seems to
occupy much of my waking thought. Between John's images and my
archives, I've been able to reconstruct much of what was on the
EVMT site before it went down, though I can't promise 100% of the
most recent material. I'm focusing mainly on the transcription
and its methodology.
The first task is to create a mnemonic transcription of the most
used characters, thus turning "qoteedy" into a more visual
"4oHcc89", or the verbose "daiin" into a far more meaningful "8am"
as it appears in the VMS. As with any Voynich transcription
scheme, there are of course some problems that need to be worked
There is evidence that a specific character exists - "aiin", and
possibly its little brother "ain" as a character unit. It's
highly likely that the "in", "iin", iiin" and its variants are
individual characters, as well as several of the most common EVA
"extended characters". As others have noticed, once you begin
considering these as individual characters, you can't help but
start considering that they seem to come in groups of 4, and this
must necessarily be a meaningful observation. This grouping for
the rarer characters causes some departure from the mnemonic theme
and leads me to use the lowercase/uppercase as a means of keeping
the groups together.
The points I'm trying to stress in this transcription are that
individual characters should be viewed and handled as individuals,
not penstrokes, and when approximately 75% of what would commonly
be considered individual characters can be shown to demonstrate a
thematic encoding standard, this is a significant artifact that
should not be ignored.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this subject, as time permits.
Where would you group the characters, and what patterns do you see
that I may be missing?