A sign/abbreviation for "magister"

Marcel Schneider via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Wed Oct 31 13:10:16 CDT 2018

On 31/10/2018 at 17:27, Julian Bradfield via Unicode wrote:
> On 2018-10-31, Marcel Schneider via Unicode  wrote:
> > Preformatted Unicode superscript small letters are meeting the French superscript 
> > requirement, that is found in:
> > http://www.academie-francaise.fr/abreviations-des-adjectifs-numeraux
> > (in French). This brief article focuses on the spelling of the indicators, 
> > without questioning the fact that they are superscript.
> When one does question the Académie about the fact, this is their
> reply:
> Le fait de placer en exposant ces mentions est de convention
> typographique ; il convient donc de le faire. Les seules exceptions
> sont pour Mme et Mlle.
“Superscripting these mentions is typographical convention; 
consequently it is convenient to do so. The only exceptions are 
for "Mme" [short for "Madame", Mrs] and "Mlle" [short for "Mademoiselle", Ms].”
> which, if my understanding of "convient" is correct, carefully does
> quite say that it is *wrong* not to superscript, but that one should
> superscript when one can because that is the convention in typography.

Draft style may differ from mail style, and this, from typography, only 
due to the limitations imposed by input interfaces. These limitations are 
artificial and mainly the consequence of insufficient development of said 
interfaces. If the computer is anything good for, then that should also 
include the transition from typewriter fallbacks to the true digital 
representation of all natural languages. Latin not excluded.

> My original question was:
> Dans les imprimés ou dans le manuscrit on écrit "1er, 45e"
> etc. (J'utilise l'indication HTML pour les lettres supérieures.)
> La question est: est-ce que les lettres supérieures sont
> *obligatoires*, ou sont-ils simplement une question de style? C'est à
> dire, si on écrit "1er, 45e" etc., est-ce une erreur, ou un style
> simple mais correct? 
“In print or handwriting one spells "1<sup>er</sup>, 45<sup>e</sup>", 
and so on. (I’m using HTML tags for the superscript letters.)

The question is: Are the superscript letters *mandatory*, 
or are they simply a matter of style? I.e. when writing "1er, 45e", 
is that a mistake, or a simple but correct style?”
> I did not think that their Dictionary desk would understand the
> concept of plain text, so I didn't ask explicitly for their opinions
> on encoding :)

If you don’t think that they would understand character encoding 
and the concept of plain text as described in the Unicode Standard, 
you may wish to explain it to them in detail prior to asking for 
their opinion on the subject.

Thank you anyway for letting us know.

> Which takes us back to when typography is plain text...

When the typographc rendering is congruent with the underlying 
plain text, that means that there is no formatting; but that is quite
impossible given the minimal default settings include a font and 
a font-size. If the plain text is an interoperable representation of 
a natural language, and that language uses superscript as an 
abbreviation indicator, that superscript must be visible when the 
text string is displayed as-is. Else the string referred to as “plain 
text” is at risk of not being a legible representation of the intended
content. If despite that risk it is, then you are lucky.

Best regards,


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