tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Jun 28 12:04:09 1993

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Re: HoS voDleH jIH

Mark Shoulson writes:

> It's not
> necessarily as ridiculous as it sounds; some languages, including, I
> understand, very very old Greek, were written in "boustrophedon" format,
> which is basically the way you'd mow your lawn: one line right-to-left, the
> next line left-to-right, and so on.

Writing boustrophedonically (at last, I get to use the adverb!) has some
real speed advantages.  Dot-matrix printers often buffer their input and
then print in this way, thus avoiding the need to move the print head back
to the leftmost column.  Of course, the buffering means that the result is
read solely left-to-right, but if we had always used boustrophedon writing
we would certainly make all moving-head printers use the style.

Sidenote:  My favorite terangan script is old Mongolian, which is a top-to-
bottom left-to-right script derived from Arabic.  Naturally, Arabic is
right-to-left top-to-bottom, but at some point, Mongolian scribes decided
that writing vertically, a la Chinese, was niftier.  So they just rotated
the paper 90 degrees to produce a vertical cursive script.

John Cowan		...!uunet!lock60!snark!cowan
			e'osai ko sarji la lojban.

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