Author Archives: David Kamholz

Ferreting Out Etymologies


January 21, 2020 ||

Words for animals often have interesting histories. Some, like English mouse, have remained almost unchanged for centuries (millennia, if you go back to Indo-European). Others, like English dog, can be tracked only so far before the trail runs dry. The word for bear was altered in many Indo-European languages through a process called taboo deformation. […]


Meet the Etymology Guy


November 20, 2019 ||

Every November 5, the United Kingdom celebrates Guy Fawkes Night. Guy Fawkes was an Englishman who attempted to blow up the House of Parliament in 1605. The story is fairly well known—but why was this guy named Guy? What kind of a name is that, anyway? As it turns out, it’s kind of a long […]


Balinese lontar work underway!


September 12, 2019 ||

In the previous two updates, we described the Balinese lontar digitization project that PanLex is managing for Internet Archive. The goal is to continue the digitization of the Balinese Digital Library’s scanned lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts) by transcribing them into Unicode text, using the keyboards discussed in the last update. This work has now gotten underway […]


Democratizing Web Fonts


July 11, 2019 ||

Of the world’s 7,000 languages, approximately half have some kind of writing system. Enabling digital support for all of these writing systems is a monumental undertaking. The Unicode standard has encoded 151 scripts—alphabets, syllabaries, and so on—as of the latest version. These include everything from common alphabets like Latin and Cyrillic to Han characters (used […]


Balinese Lontar Update


July 11, 2019 ||

In a previous post, we introduced the Balinese Lontar Project that PanLex is managing, in coordination with the Internet Archive and Udayana University. We have some exciting updates from the last two months. The team at Pusat Kajian Lontar at Udayana has given us great feedback, PanLex’s transcription platform is now live at palmleaf.org, and […]