[KS] formal question (which version of Chinese characters?)

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Sun May 31 05:13:04 EDT 2015

Adam Bohnet wrote:

> Among them, Han SOngju, ChosOn chOn'gi sujik yOjinin yOn'gu (KyOng'in 
> munhwasa, 2011)

Seeing how you use a computer and Unicode font as if you were working 
on a 1970-ish typewriter to go around McCune-Reischauer I can certainly 
see your point of wanting to stick with mono-everything :) 

Seriously, except for the references to the bookshelf popes and 
priests, your arguments certainly make a lot of sense. I do NOT find 
the reasoning (e.g. of Marion, but not just her) convincing -- this 
universalist approach to script while disregarding language and thereby 
disregarding cultures that have developed diverse usages of the script, 
that really seems a historic-traditionalistic point of view, that, to 
me, seems then politically not anymore timely. But, yes, mixing all the 
variants of traditional and two national abbreviated styles, that 
indeed makes a text (especially if done on the same page) look quite 
muddled. And who wants something muddled? The monolithic in itself does 
have an aesthetic appeal to it, oh yes -- agreed. I do love watching 
old b/w movies -- "He is like dogs. A dog looks at you, wants to talk, 
and only barks." (La Strada) You just can't beat simplicity, it has its 
rough charm while being just as eloquent as an inexhaustibly garrulous 
Woody Allen dialogue. In terms of aesthetics I am all for it.

Even more serious, the most serious I have in petto for today, coming 
back to your bookshelf popes and priests: if indeed East Asian authors 
do not at all care -- is that really so??? -- (and we can disregard 
authors from mainland China here, as that is a dictatorship and they 
can't freely choose), then why should we care when writing texts in 
Western languages with Chinese character insertions? No need to be 
holier than thou. THAT seems a very strong argument for the use of the 
traditional character set alone (only exception I would then still make 
are bibliographic references). .... As you see, I find it very hard get 
to a conclusion. 


Frank Hoffmann

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