adz000 wrote:What's your opinion about final sigmas and iota subscript?
I like them just fine. I have to admit that this urge to reform Greek spelling has the effect of taking a pointy stick and jabbing it repeatedly into my pet peeves. I have reasons for my objections, but perhaps not all of them are reasonable, if you get my meaning. Here's my list, and others can decide.Why William Hates Lunate Sigma and Adscript Iota1. Annoyance.
No one reading this post is phonating all the words. While we learn to read by sounding out the letters, and adult reader takes the whole word in and identifies it by shape. Only when we encounter a new word do we need to stop to phonate. I can read a lot of Greek the same way. When I see [face=spionic]au)tw=|[/face]
I know immedately what they are. Both the subscript and the disctinct final sigma are part of that recognition system. When they are removed I suddenly have to stop over every word in which they occur. This is vexing.2. On Mountains and Molehills.
I don't understand why some people feel compelled, after several 100 years of two sigmas and subscript iota, to fiddle. What is the purpose? It's ahistorical, so authenticity (whatever that would mean here) is out. It cannot be pedagogical - we're talking about a language with a larger than usual complement of verb forms. Are the two sigmas really turning away students? And if so, when do we reform Hebrew and Arabic?3. Aesthetics.
Our usual Greek fonts are based on Byzantine practice. The lunate sigma is alien to most of those models. Ignoring for the moment the brain freeze the lunate sigma induces in the mind of an experienced reader of Greek, the lunate sigma just doesn't fit
into several of the usual fonts. I have yet to see a Porson lunate sigma that doesn't scream "I don't belong here!" every time it occurs. Having said that, the attractive font used in this Scholia D
has a lunate sigma that looks like it belongs there.
I do think every Greek font needs a lunate sigma for use in textual notes when you need to quote papyrus evidence.