A last missing link for interoperable representation

Richard Wordingham via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Sat Jan 12 07:22:21 CST 2019

On Sat, 12 Jan 2019 10:57:26 +0000 (GMT)
Julian Bradfield via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:

> It's also fundamentally misguided. When I _italicize_ a word, I am
> writing a word composed of (plain old) letters, and then styling the
> word; I am not composing a new and different word ("_italicize_") that
> is distinct from the old word ("italicize") by virtue of being made up
> of different letters.

And what happens when you capitalise a word for emphasis or to begin a
sentence?  Is it no longer the same word?

> I think the VS or combining format character approach *would* have
> been a better way to deal with the mess of mathematical alphabets,
> because for mathematicians, *b* is a distinct symbol from b, and while
> there may be correlated use of alphabets, there need be no connection
> whatever between something notated b and something notated *b*.

Perhaps the influence of school has lingered too well, but I would be
very uncomfortable with such a lack of connection.  The idea that *b*
is a vector and _b_ is its magnitude has stuck well.  Italicisation on
the other hand, is a confirmation that something is a symbol, and
naturally disappears in handwriting.


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