Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Thu Oct 6 15:22:58 CDT 2016

2016-10-06 21:48 GMT+02:00 Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper at crissov.de>:

> For ordinal numbers, it’s relatively simple to code language-dependent
> glyph substitution in Opentype which would not require any additional
> effort from the author, “3ème” would just work, “3e” → “3ᵉ” would require
> some extra care to avoid false positives. Letter-only abbreviations,
> however, would only work reliably with an added marker. Many languages
> conventionally, which are written in the roman script, including English,
> choose an apostrophe, but inter-letter periods are also not unheard of.
> That means, “M’me” and “M.me” could also be easily converted to “Mᵐᵉ” on a
> font/glyph level. If the used OTF feature is supported and active, this
> will work in plain text environments, but, of course, it depends on the
> font.

The *standard* French abbreviation for Madame is NOT "M'me" or "M.me" but
"Mme" without confusion, the superscript on final letters "me" is optional.
False positives on "3e" are extremely rare, and writing it as “3ᵉ” does not
change the isolated ambiguities that could exist with a custom numbering
(but for numbersing sections headers, the title is separated by a
punctuation os there's some context such as its presence in a numbered
list, or the presence of explicit word such as articles ("le 3e") and the
grammatical syntax of sentences.

But if semantic is your issue, we could insert an invisible Unicode mark of
abbreviation (notably the invisible abbreviation dot, which may be rendered
as a dot in some contexts where distinctions by styles cannot be used, or
could be rendered by using superscripts for letters glued after it). We
have such characters for mathematics (invisible addition mark and invisible
multiplication marks (to disambiguate cases in formulas, such as a number
followed by a fraction: does "3 1/2" mean 3.5 or 1.5 ?)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://unicode.org/pipermail/unicode/attachments/20161006/0c3f436e/attachment.html>

More information about the Unicode mailing list