Saturday, January 2, 2010

Proofreading, part 18

Another rather pleasing thing about this sort of aural proofreading has to do with the shapes the letters make.

When writing, some letters make very pleasing shapes on the page – the taggin, or how they fit in with the other letters around them, that sort of thing:


It's just nice.

And sometimes pleasing three-dimensional shapes as well, although I usually tone those down a bit for the sake of good artisanship:

Bumpy ayinBumpy mem

Checking letters by listening, you aren't so much aware of the letters' aesthetic value relative to surrounding letters, only their kashrut status, but you do become aware of the shapes they make in sound relative to surrounding letters. I had never thought of the phrase ויבא אביו as having a pleasing shape, for instance, but when the scribomatic read it to me, vav-yud-bet-aleph-beep-aleph-bet-yud-vav, the symmetry there made me very happy. (The scribomatic beeps at spaces.)

Or: alef-tav-beep, hey-alef-tav-tav. Rhythm!

Or יוכבד דדתו לו לאשה – dalet-beep-dalet-dalet, nice, and then vav-beep-lamed, vav-beep-lamed.

Torah writing frequently surprises me with experiences I would never have thought to anticipate, and this was another of them.

Yes, I was proofreading Shemot when I was writing this post.

Not simultaneously, silly.

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