Cherokee should not have a Suppress-Script

Michael Everson everson at
Sun Mar 12 01:30:59 CET 2006

At 16:17 -0800 2006-03-11, Doug Ewell wrote:
>Michael has argued strongly that the Cherokee language is primarily 
>written in the Cherokee script.

And I have given actual descriptions of the sociolinguistic usage of Cherokee.

>David has argued strongly that it is primarily written in the Latin script.

And has given no evidence for anything at all. That is not "strong 
argument". He wasn't, apparently, aware that most Cherokee text isn't 
googlable because it uses non-Unicode fonts.

>Ethnologue reports an estimate of 15,000 to 22,500 speakers of 
>Cherokee. The amount of existing Cherokee text that has been given 
>the tag "chr", such that humans or software reading "chr" would 
>assume either the Cherokee or Latin script, is likely to be quite 
>It should be apparent that Cherokee does not qualify for a 
>Suppress-Script.  Let's leave it blank.  If strong evidence comes to 
>light, it can always be added later.

Nonsense, Doug. It's clear that real texts in Cherokee exist in 
Cherokee script. Texts. Extended passages in Cherokee language. They 
are bibles, hymnals, a huge amount of historical documents, 
newspapers, and so on. There is no evidence whatsoever that actual 
Cherokee texts (anything from refrigerator notes to weblogs) exists 
in Latin script. And if there were, the question as to how many of 
those texts there are must be answered, and it is unlikely that the 
amount of text goes anywhere near the size of the text of a bible or 
even a hymnal.

I have a book in Yiddish in Latin. That's weird, and Yiddish's 
Suppress-Script is, of course Hebrew.

No such evidence has been proposed for Cherokee. David can't even 
remember whether he has read the book about Cherokee script use among 
the Eastern Cherokee. I do not mean to belittle David. But he has not 
made a case at all, not even for "controversy" in this matter.

I would happily propose and approve a Suppress-Script Cher for Cherokee.
Michael Everson *

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