Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Marcel Schneider charupdate at orange.fr
Thu Oct 6 02:21:11 CDT 2016

On Wed, 5 Oct 2016 17:34:02 +0200, Philippe Verdy wrote:
> I agree, French allows abbreviating many words by appending the last new
> letters in superscripts. 3<super>e</super> is recommended but
> 3<super>ème</super>
> is still very frequent. As well you'll see abbreviations using <sup>é</sup>
> (a frequent termination for past participles, generally used with the
> previous consonnant and possibly followed with the féminine/plural final
> letters, all in superscript).

I did never see that. Would you show us some examples to look up? Iʼm curious
whether they could be managed without accented superscripts.
Anyway, combining diacritics should be placeable on superscripts as well.

> Almost nobody use the preencoded superscript letters for this (notably not
> for "1<sup>er</sup>", or its recommended feminine form "1<sup>re</sup>",
> still frequently written "1<sup>ère</sup>") 

They donʼt because these are not on the keyboard. Trust me, I wouldnʼt use
them neither if I hadnʼt them on a (prototype) keyboard layout.
You may say the same about the œ, the É and Ç, and so on. Why do people
abbreviate “numéro” by “n°”? Because we *do have it* (the degree sign) on
our keyboards.

BTW, there was another (subsequent) proposal [1], to complete with superscript q
but not only. At the time, it was up to fill out the SUPERSCRIPT and SUBSCRIPT
dead keys (called latching group selectors). But no trace of any UTC meeting item
can be found, at least when I try to do the search.

The known issue about this proposal is that it is a part of the ISO/IEC 9995
standardization process, as it should contribute to part 9 of that standard.
That is an issue because of Microsoft being fiercely opposed to ISO/IEC 9995.

I understand Microsoft, as the standard in question is in my opinion actually 
suboptimal. But this is another issue, not to be discussed neither in this 
thread, nor on this Mailing List at all (except perhaps by other subscribers).


[1] The proposal:

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