Cormac (QT Spain) <cormac at qtranslation dot com> wrote:

> The Irish language used to use a dot over a consonant, which altered
> the pronunciation of the consonant. It has now been replaced by the
> letter h after the consonant. In both cases, it is referred to as a
> seamhu ("SHAY-vu"). The dot disappeared quite recently - I have seen
> it in print in very old textbooks. I don't know the cause of the
> change; I merely suspect the convenience of using more widely
> available. (However modern Irish still uses an acute accent (fada).)

Thanks to the Internet, Esperanto is seeing much greater use now than ever
before, but "thanks" to the continued prominence of Latin-1 on the
Internet, its accented characters are being replaced by -h and -x

Daniel <tamrin at prontomail dot com> wrote:

> It seems the recurring theme is that "new technology hurts
> alphabets" which is a little troubling but tells us something about
> the sophistication of writing itself. The heart of the problem I
> suspect is not "technology" but poorly implemented technology...

The experts will have to debate whether there is a "problem" and whether
the alphabets are being "hurt," or whether this is just normal evolution.
As this thread shows, changes in technology have influenced writing
systems for thousands of years. It's not at all obvious to me that the
transition from roundish to squarish glyphs in Chinese, for example, was a
bad thing. (In Esperanto, however, the orthography is fragmenting --
g-with-circumflex vs. gh vs. gx -- and that's probably not good.)

-Doug Ewell
posting from work in Irvine, California