A sign/abbreviation for "magister"

James Kass via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Mon Oct 29 22:06:57 CDT 2018

Asmus Freytag wrote,

 > Nevertheless, I think the use of devices like combining underlines
 > and superscript letters in plain text are best avoided.

That's probably true according to the spirit of the underlying encoding 
principles.  But hasn't that genie already left the bottle?

People write their names as they please.  With the entire repertoire of 
Unicode from which to choose, people are coming up with some amazingly 
unorthodox ways to "spell" their screen names.  Here's six screen names 
copy/pasted from an atypical Twitter account's comments sections:

Joё дмёгicди‏



IXOYE444 (←This one included character U+200F, I removed it.)

Qęy ✪ eT ✪ Dog ► VOTES‏

  �� ❄️ ��Kἶოἶղმz �� ❄️  ��‏ (←Note the decorative emoji.)

People are mixing scripts and so forth in order to create distinctive 
screen names.  Those screen names are out there in the wild and are part 
of our stored data which future historians are welcome to scratch their 
heads over.

IIRC, around the time that the math alphanumerics were added to Plane 
One, Michael Everson noted that once characters are encoded people will 
use them as they see fit.  In this present thread, Michael Everson wrote:

 > And I would not encode it as Mr͇, firstly because it
 > would never render properly and you might as well
 > encode it as Mr. or M:r, and second because in the
 > IPA at least that character indicates an alveolar
 > realization in disordered speech. (Of course it
 > could be used for anything.)

Yes, it could be used for anything requiring combining-two-lines-below.  
At some point, if enough people were doing it, it would morph from a 
kludge of hacking alveolar whatevers into an accepted convention.  (Not 
that I am pushing this approach, it's only one suggestion out of many 
possibilities.  I'm in favor of direct encoding.)  I would not encode 
the abbreviation as either "Mr." or "M:r" because neither of those text 
strings appear in the original manuscript.

FAICT, "Եօʍ‏" is pronounced just like "Tom", but it ain't spelled the 
same.  Likewise for "McCoy" and "M=ͨCoy".

It strikes me as perverse if "Եօʍ‏" can spell his name as he pleases 
using the UCS but "M=ͨCoy" mustn't.  Especially since names like 
"M=ͨCoy" and abbreviations such as "M=ͬ" could be typed on old-style 
mechanical typewriters.  Quintessential plain-text, that.

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