a character for an unknown character

Richard Wordingham richard.wordingham at ntlworld.com
Wed Dec 28 19:47:59 CST 2016

On Tue, 27 Dec 2016 21:33:32 -0800
Asmus Freytag <asmusf at ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> When it comes to marks (or symbols) of less generic or more complex 
> shapes, the
> presumption that the mark only has "one" shape may be more common,
> and examples of the mark
> being repurposed may be less common.  Not being as common, fewer
> readers will
> recognize all stylistic variations as being "the same thing". A
> variant form will be more
> likely to be understood as a related, but not identical symbol. That
> in turn fuels the
> misperception that Unicode somehow encodes symbols based on a single
> conventional usage.

The idea of a single conventional usage is also fuelled by a number of
practices and policies:

1) A letter belongs to a single script (not to be confused with
writing system)

2) Distinction of punctuation and modifier letters, e.g. the highly
confusing distinction between U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK and

3) The resolution of U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS into U+2010 HYPHEN, U+2212
MINUS SIGN and a few minor punctuation marks

4) Distinction between decimal digits and letters

5) The nightmare of spacing single and double dots.

Ideal solutions can also be defeated by limited keyboard layouts.  As a
result, I have no idea whether the singular of "fithp" (one of Larry
Niven's alien species) should be spelt with U+02BC or U+2019, though in
ASCII I can just write "fi'".


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