Combining solidus above for transcription of poetic meter

Julian Bradfield jcb+unicode at
Fri Mar 17 12:27:47 CDT 2017

On 2017-03-17, Rebecca T <637275 at> wrote:
> When transcribing poetic meter (scansion
><>), it is common to use two symbols
> above the line (usually a breve [U+306  ̆] for stressed syllables and a
> solidus
> / slash [U+2F /] for unstressed syllables) to indicate stress patterns. Ex:

Other way round, as you illustrate

> This approach, however, is problematic; the lack of a combining slash above
> character means that two lines of text must be used, and any non-monospaced
> font (or any platform where multiple consecutive spaces are truncated into
> one

It won't help to have a "combining solidus a long way above" (which is
what you really want) unless you also have "combining breve a long way
If you are happy to use a typographically normal combining breve for
the unstressed syllables, you should be happy to use a typographically
normal acute accent for the stressed syllable.

> by default, such as HTML) makes keeping the annotations properly aligned
> with
> the text difficult or impossible — depending on your email client, the
> above
> example may be entirely misaligned. Being able to use combining diacritics
> for
> scansion would make these problems obsolete and enable a semantic
> transcription
> of meter.

If you're working in a situation where you don't have either markup
control or the facility to use plain monospaced text, then just use
normal breves and acutes.
It's not clear to me that laying out aligned text (for which there are
many other applications than scansion, e.g. interlinear translation)
is something best achieved with combining characters!

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