Use of Unicode Symbol 26A0

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at
Tue Jun 3 12:17:01 CDT 2014

2014-06-03 19:13, Asmus Freytag wrote:

> Unicode normally does not document all known usages of symbols.

Not to mention unknown usages. Characters will be used in different 
ways, no matter what the Unicode Standard says, and it would be mostly 
pointless to put restrictions on it. In some cases, however, some types 
of usage are warned against, or better approaches are suggested˔.

> The symbol is used for a
> variety of purposes, from warning to error to alerting readers to
> important information. These all seem to fit in the same general usage
> as suggested by the name, and the symbol is distinct enough so that that
> there is no other symbol in Unicode that might suggest itself as an
> alternate.

Right, but if we consider the use of WARNING SIGN as a text character, 
or contexts where an image resembling WARNING SIGN is used and WARNING 
SIGN could well be used (with the usual caveats), then it seems to 
generally indicate a warning message as opposite to an error message, on 
one hand, and a purely informative note, on the other.

The use of graphic symbols similar to WARNING SIGN e.g. in traffic signs 
is really a different issue and external to Unicode, as it is not about 
characters, though it might be tangentially related.

> The use to warn about risk of personal injury would not seem to demand
> additional clarification.

On the practical side, it might be in order to warn against usage that 
relies on some particular interpretation like that. What I mean is that 
it is OK to use WARNING SIGN as warning about risk of personal injury, 
but questionable to expect that people will generally take it that way 
(and not more loosely as warning of some kind).


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