Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Marcel Schneider charupdate at orange.fr
Thu Oct 6 15:19:35 CDT 2016

On Wed, 5 Oct 2016 06:35:52 +0000, Martin Mueller wrote:
> That said, given that alphabets have fixed numbers, it’s weird 
> that bits of super and subscripted letters appear in this or 
> that limited range but that you can’t cobble a whole alphabet 
> together in a consistent manner.

Indeed your point looked good to me, and it does again. Hereʼs why:

> If any , why not all, especially 
> if there are only two or three dozen. 

Phonetics typically use Latin script as a basis. Like mathematics use 
bold, italic, script, sans-serif and double-struck, phonetics use 
superscript, subscript, and small caps. From a Unicode viewpoint, 
phonetics are not less important than mathematics. Mathematicians have 
been granted more than one dozen complete or completing alphabets of 
preformatted characters. Phoneticists have never been granted any 
complete alphabet. They must always prove their needs in detail, 
whereas mathematicians have full liberty in choosing variables.

According to my hypothesis and while waiting, I believe that 
the intent of the gap kept in the superscript lowercase range, 
is to maintain a limitation to the performance of plain text.
I donʼt see very well how to apply Hanlonʼs razor here, because
there seems to be a strong unwillingness to see people getting 
keyboards that allow them to write in plain text without being 
bound to high-end software. The goal seems to be to keep the users 
dependent on a special formatting feature and to draw them away 
from simplicity.
This results clearly from the weird arguments that were thrown
against the proposal of *MODIFIER LETTER SMALL Q. The comment 
on behalf of Adobe had only a slight resemblance of commenting 
the proposal as such, […].

Trying to sum up: By encoding these few characters, there would 
indeed be a door that is thrown wide open. However, it has then 
been pointed out that there would be *no rush* through that door.


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