U+hhhh[h[h]] NAME syntax

Marcel Schneider charupdate at orange.fr
Sat Aug 13 04:33:27 CDT 2016

On Sat, 13 Aug 2016 09:29:05 +0200, Philippe Verdy wrote:
> I see little interest to force anyone to use the U+NNNN NAME convention 
> everywhere, as it is overlong and may instead obscure the discussions. Even 
> when it is used, the NAME will be frequently abbreviated (such as dropping the 
> script name prefix or common words such as LETTER or DIGIT). And given that 
> character names are not case-significant, they will be frequently written 
> using lowercase, or mixed case, or just by presenting the verbatim character 
> itself.
One advantage I see in using capitalized character names is in making them 
unambigously recognizable as identifiers, in order to prevent readers from 
mistaking them as descriptors.

However I admit that I often unify casing pairs by dropping the CAPITAL and 
SMALL attributes, as in LATIN LETTER AE, but it would be more accurate to write
LATIN CAPITAL/SMALL LETTER AE. By contrast I wouldnʼt do that when referring to 
the LATIN CAPITAL and SMALL LIGATURE OE, because the term “ligature” is an abusive 
relict enforced by the ISO redactor at the time, and set back to “letter” in the 
case of the Æ (as discussed past year). Here the advantage of using a translation
is to be able to correct without risking confusions.

Another advantage is in highlighting the names against the surrounding text. 
Avoiding uppercase—e.g. from people hating their Caps Lock toggle key, who 
Iʼve read they do exist but are very uncommon in the country where we live—
would need workarounds like using quotation marks, which in this context are 
almost always misleading.

As of the U+ notational prefix for current text, I see it as extremely useful
and I always apply it except, as Philippe states, in some tabular data, 
which is but following the pattern used in the NamesList (which Iʼm keeping 
constantly opened in my text editor). 

Using the U+ prefix throughout has the additional advantage of promoting 
Unicode in the mind of people—an urgent challenge, accordingly to the recent
«Unicode in the Curriculum?» thread:


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