Marcel Schneider via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Thu Jan 17 16:56:27 CST 2019

On 17/01/2019 21:21, Richard Wordingham via Unicode wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 18:35:49 +0100
> Marcel Schneider via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
>> Among the grievances, Unicode is blamed for confusing Greek psili and
>> dasia with comma shapes, and for misinterpreting Latin letter forms
>> such as the u with descender taken for a turned h, and double u
>> mistaken for a turned m, errors that subsequently misled font
>> designers to apply misplaced serifs.
> And I suppose that the influence was so great that it travelled back in
> time to 1976, affecting the typography of the Pelican book 'Phonetics'
> as reprinted in 1976.
> Those IPA characters originated in a tradition where new characters had
> been derived by rotating other characters so as to avoid having to have
> new type cut.  Misplaced serifs appear to be original.

I merely reported what had been brought up by O. Randier [1].
Thanks for shedding the right light on these issues.
The paper comes out diminished, definitely full of errors.

This confirms a trend to criticize Unicode instead of cooperating. That
would be enough of an explanation why UTC is not ready to make any gifts to
French, neither up to now nor after my interoperable-representation-whining.
The most that French could get was granted to the Canadian French and only
thanks to Patrick Andries and to Martin J. Dürst. I’d like to thank these
gentlemen and Ken Whistler who lent an ear and was ready to add a mention
in UAX #14.

That is probably the most what the French language can expect, because it
ultimately may not deserve any more, due to French wrongdoing along history
and fresh in memories after the terrorist attack against Greenpeace.
The moral strength needed for a lobbying effort was gone, and the most that
people could do is being upset when NNBSP stayed missing, as Philippe Verdy
reported, but not take any action.

It wasn’t until Canadian French Patrick Andries asked for a small concession
based on what falls off from Mongolian, ending up in General Punctuation due
to the foresight of the UTC, that Unicode started supporting French, in a
merciful gesture granted through the service door in the backyard.

Now I’m likely to be scared into silence, deeply ashamed.
(But I’m committed to keep on the job.)

Nothing happens, or does not happen, without a good reason.
Finding out what reason is key to recoverage.
If we want to get what we need, we must do our homework first.

Thanks for helping bring it to the point.

Kind regards,


[1] http://www.cairn.info/article.php?ID_REVUE=DN&ID_NUMPUBLIE=DN_063&ID_ARTICLE=DN_063_0089&FRM=B#pa29

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