proposal for new character 'soft/preferred line break'

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at
Wed Feb 5 16:27:10 CST 2014

2014-02-05 23:44, Rhavin Grobert wrote:

> Wbr gives the opportunity to break at long|awesome. But what i mean is:
> - non existing "sbr" in parralell to shy assumed -

Just giving a hypothetical character or tag an identifier does not 
specify its intended meaning.

> "Do you think me gentle,<sbr/>do you think me cold?
> do you wanna risk a<sbr/>look into my thoughts?"
> if line is long enough:
> "Do you think me gentle, do you think me cold?
> do you wanna risk a look into my thoughts?"
> if line is not long enough:
> "Do you think me gentle,
> do you think me cold?
> do you wanna risk a
> look into my thoughts?"

This seems to be what Richard Wordingham guessed what you mean, more or 

> Poems need some whitespace-element that is *above* usual whaitespaces
> when it comes to linebreaks, <wbr/> and &shy are *below* all whitespaces.

Anything “above” the character level is generally up to higher-level 
protocols rather than what the Unicode Standard deals with.

It seems to me that you actually want is to make some line break points 
the only allowed break points. So you would rather want to prohibit 
breaks elsewhere than introduce a “soft/preferred line break”.

At the character level, you could use no-break spaces for the purpose. 
Using the entity reference   (for U+00A9) for clarity here, you 
could write

Do you think me gentle, 
do you think me cold?
do you wanna risk a 
look into my thoughts?

If the text contains hyphens or other characters that might allow a line 
break by default, you made need something extra.

If this is actually about HTML authoring, you can successfully use

<nobr>Do you think me gentle,</nobr>
<nobr>do you think me cold?</nobr>
<nobr>do you wanna risk a</nobr>
<nobr>look into my thoughts?</nobr>

If you need/want to “conform to HTML standards”, you can, with some 
marginal loss in functionality, use <span style="white-space: 
nowrap">...</span> instead of nobr elements.

Anyway, there appears to be existing solutions to the problem. They 
might be a bit clumsy, but adding an “exclusive line break opportunity” 
into Unicode would introduce quite some complexity and burden on 


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