4 god so luvd da world
Is nothing sacred?Kim White:
"A few weeks ago, Ben posted about The Bible Society of Australia's new "transl8tion" of the Bible into SMS--a shorthand system used primarily for sending text messages through mobile phones. Interesting to note that an organization like the Australian Bible Society, which believes the text of the Bible to be the very word of God, does not seem have a problem with the fact that the SMS version changes the voice of god from that of a wizened poet to that of a text-messaging teenager. Here's an example:4 god so luvd da world
I'm all for reading on cellphones and other portable devices, and I understand using a shorthand language for keying in messages, but why does the published book need to look like an electronic stenographer's notepad? I realize that the form of the electronic "page" is changing the way we write, I'll be more than a little disappointed if this is the direction we are going toward a cutesy-looking shorthand that compromises the integrity of the text for the sake of expediency."
"Actually no, I disagree, the original text (at least of the New Testament - from which your examples come) was written in language forms more like TXT than literary English! Koine Greek they call it, the language of the streets and everyday, not the language of literature! See my post TXT: Bible as koine..."
"but SMS isn't really a language of the streets. It's not a language at all. It is a shorthand system for writing English rapidly. Similar to the shorthand used before recording devices were inventedThese notes were always transcribed back into plain English, never published as shorthand. I guess my beef has something to do with privileging speed over quality (or at least what I perceive as quality). That said, it's also really interesting that SMS, like ancient Hebrew, leaves out vowels. So maybe, in some respects, we are coming full circle."
We can see that Kim herself was also coming full circle in her evaluation of TXT. However, certain concepts occur here that have come up often enough in the comment section of the BBB. They are 'hold sacred' " reverence' and 'respect.' I thought I would enter the discussion about whether the form of the written text is sacred and what then do we say about shorthand or TXT. The following are examples of Bible texts in shorthand throughout the centuries. There was also shorthand during the time of the New Testament but we don't know many specifics.
The first image here is the Greek text from a sixth century wax tablet for 2 Cor. 1:3. It is a practice exercise in shorthand. (Halle)
The second image is of Psalm 12:6-7 in Latin from a ninth century manuscript.
In the 17th century John Willis published a shorthand system and there is a Bible in this script at University College London. It has 'contemporary gold-tooled calf binding'. Here is an example of this script.
Pitman is a shorthand system that we are more likely to recognize if not read. The third image is a page of the Pitman Bible, 1850.
Somebody really needs to talk to these ancients about their "cutesy-looking shorthand that compromises the integrity of the text for the sake of expediency".
Notes: Image 1 and 2 are from "Du Charactère Sténographique de Toute Écriture." Yves Duhoux. Studia Minora Facultatis Philosophicae Universitatis Brunensis N 6-7, 2001-2002. Unfortunately Duhoux does not give the location for the Latin manuscript but it was also mentioned in M. Proux. 1910. Manuel de paléographie latine et française. Album. Paris.
Update: Tim posted about this coversation here.