What can I say? If you want to be completely literal about it (like XKCD fans), it’s a brand new theory about Voynichese being scallop language (with the top two lines of f15v translating as “I think you should stop browsing forums and get back to work“). Otherwise, you might want to riff on how the final space insertion cipher stage is particularly clear here, and how annoying it is that the second line (with its four consecutive “or” verbose pairs) is absent from the Takahashi EVA transcription. Or to discuss how the first letter of the second line should be transcribed (it’s not at all obvious). Or even how best to cook scallops. You choose. 🙂


5 thoughts on “Something Awful, Voynich Scallop riff…

  1. Vytautas on October 5, 2009 at 1:28 pm said:

    This “not at all obvious” letter really exist in manuscript, somewhere near plants (sorry, don’t remember precise page). One of artefacts distracting us 🙂 May it be “repaired” symbol, who knows ?

  2. As I said in the post, it’s at the start of line #2 of f15v. My own guess is that this was meant to be an (EVA) “s”, but that the idiot scribe got the flourish back to front. 🙂

    Actually, I should perhaps mention that a lot of the line-initial “s” characters (particularly on Herbal-A pages) look very much to me as though they started life as an (EVA) “e”, but were later embellished to look like an “s”. Add this to the (already long) list of VMs features I’d love to make a spectroscopic scan of! 🙂

  3. “final space insertion” – is that double speak for an erasure?

    I’d appreciate a clarification of what you mean by that.

    Takahashi’ EVA does repeat ‘or’ 4 times on f15v

  4. Hi Tony,

    If you have a verbose cipher where an individual token for (say) plaintext “x” is “or” but you occasionally want to encipher the plaintext strings “xxx” or “xxxx”, then you have a problem – “ororor” or “orororor” would stick out somewhat.

    I believe that the presence of “or oro ror” is a bit of a giveaway that the encipherer was trying to disguise the presence of “orororor” in the verbose ciphertext stream, by inserting spaces as a final (i.e. post-verbose cleanup) enciphering stage. That is, while the verbose cipher is a late stage in the enciphering pipeline, the space insertion cipher comes after it… hence “final space insertion”.

    I should have been a little clearer about the Takahashi EVA: Takahashi did include the orororor line, but it somehow got omitted when it was merged into the particular interlinear transcription I use.

    Cheers, ….Nick Pelling….

  5. Tricia on May 13, 2013 at 11:30 am said:



    oro ror…awrrrrh

    (awimawe, awimawe..)

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