eldavojohn writes: The 18th century Copiale Cipher has finally been decoded after a few minor breakthroughs were made by linguists versed in machine translation analyzing the document. From the article, 'Kevin Knight, a computer scientist at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California, collaborated with Beata Megyesi and Christiane Schaefer of Uppsala University in Sweden to decipher the first 16 pages. They turn out to be a detailed description of a ritual from a secret society that apparently had a fascination with eye surgery and ophthalmology.' The Roman characters and abstract symbols turned out to be a sort of encryption of the German language. The important clues they discovered were that the Roman characters were nulls (misleading junk) and the bogus looking symbols the actual text. Lastly, a colon would mean a duplication of the last consonant. A cipher falls to word-frequency analysis. Perhaps the researchers could start another "weekend project" and tackle The Voynich Manuscript for us?
The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to
watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting.
-- T.H. White