Monday, December 12, 2005

On the Main Line

Someone asked me about this image at the top of my blog. Obviously it spells "On the Main Line" in a paleo-Hebrew type font. He asked about my transcription.

It is, as follows (from right to left): 'ayin, nun, thav, het, heh, mem, 'aleph, yod, nun, lamed, yod, nun, heh (ענתחהמאינלינה).

As you can see, it's a strange way to transliterate the words, particularly noticeable in the three letters I chose to represent 'the', 'תחה'.

What I did was transcribe each Latin (English) letter into its exact antedecent in Hebrew (or, really, Phoenician from which derived the Greek alphabet and its own daughter alphabet, Latin, which our own alphabet is derived. In this case, the letter ת - thav is equivalent to our 'T' (which can be seen, with some imagination from its form, sometimes written like an X and sometimes like a a + in the ancient scripts). 'H' is from 'ח', plain and simple. And our E comes from the 'ה', which can be seen by looking at the paleo-Hebrew form of the letter, and reversing it from left-to-right. It looks kind of like an E, except facing the other way.

All in all, there are other ways I could have represented 'On the Main Line' but this is what I liked and it is, at least, consistent.

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