Fwd: Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Julian Bradfield jcb+unicode at inf.ed.ac.uk
Sat Oct 8 05:03:12 CDT 2016

On 2016-10-07, Oren Watson <oren.watson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I scarcely think that a use case was submitted for every one of the
> blackboard bold etc letters in the mathematical set; merely the use of
> blackboard bold for a general purpose of denoting sets such as the
> naturals, reals, complex numbers etc, and the fact that arbitrary letters
> might be used if a mathematician desired, seems to have sufficed.

Indeed. I happen to think the whole math alphabet thing was a dumb
mistake. But even if it isn't - and incidentally in some communities
there is or was a convention of using blackboard bold letters for
matrices, which justifies all of them -:

> I believe the same logic applies to the case of linguistics, where the use
> of superscripts are a common convention.

Either superscripts are being used mathematically, in which case you
can use mathematical markup, or they're being used with very specific
semantics, as in the phonetic modifier letters. For the latter case,
there is a standard. First you get your letter recognized by the IPA,
then you encode it. The IPA doesn't recognize arbitrary superscripts.

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