5.0165 Qs: MS-DOS Hebrew Supplement; Medial S (2/44)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 20 Jun 91 16:18:00 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0165. Thursday, 20 Jun 1991.

(1) Date: Thu, 20 Jun 91 09:38 EDT (23 lines)
From: Ivy Anderson <ANDERSON@brandeis.bitnet>
Subject: Hebrew MS-DOS

(2) Date: Thu, 20 Jun 91 12:54:32 -0500 (21 lines)
From: Alan D Corre <corre@convex.csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: Medial s

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 91 09:38 EDT
From: Ivy Anderson <ANDERSON@brandeis.bitnet>
Subject: Hebrew MS-DOS

Do any fellow Humanists have experience installing and using Microsoft
Hebrew MS-DOS Supplement (version 3.3)?

We have installed this software on a Zenith 286 workstation but are
unable to print from either DOS or WordPerfect on our Epson LX810
printer. The printer was fitted with proms for the Hebrew character set
by the supplier of our MS-DOS software (Ariana Software of W. Hartford,
CT) and is supposed to be supported. Neither our supplier, WordPerfect,
nor Zenith have been able to help us resolve the problem thus far,
although there are 1 or 2 ideas we are still investigating. Except for
the printer problem the software seems to work fine.

Please send replies directly to me. Thanks in advance for any help.

Ivy Anderson Tel. (617) 736-4671
Brandeis University Libraries Bitnet anderson@brandeis
Waltham, MA 02254 Internet anderson@binah.cc.

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------30----
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 91 12:54:32 -0500
From: Alan D Corre <corre@convex.csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: Medial s

Until early in the nineteenth century, languages using the Roman script,
such as English, had a medial s which looks like an f with the front
half of the crossbar missing. In its handwritten form it looks like an
f with the lower loop on the left, rather than the right, side. This
character disappeared, apparently quite suddenly and universally. I
should like to know 1) in which language did the change start, and why?
2) is there any contemporary discussion of the change? 3) was it purely
a matter of fashion, or is it connected with technological changes such
as stereotyping and lithography? 4) which is the last published book
(other than reprints or deliberate archaisms) that used the medial s
throughout? I have consulted books by Colin Clair and Sigfried
Steinberg on the history of printing without finding reference to this.
Of course the Gothic script never abandonned the medial s. I was
interested to find in Steinberg the item that in 1941 Adolf Hitler
decreed that the Gothic script was a "Jewish invention" and hence it was
banned. So I suppose he must be credited with giving the coup de grace
to this character, in that one area where it survived.