Why do the Hebrew Alphabetic Presentation Forms Exist

abrahamgross at disroot.org abrahamgross at disroot.org
Wed Jun 3 21:52:19 CDT 2020

Finally a good explanation! I still want the folded lamed tho… but at least I get it now

2020/06/03 午後9:44:18 Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org>:
> If you (or the original typesetter) would have set this same text in the same font slightly differently, maybe a little wider or narrower, or maybe with an additional word or even footnote-mark inserted or something, would the bent LAMEDs still be bent and the straight LAMEDs still be straight?  No!  The text would flow differently, and some of the straight LAMEDs would have to be bent, because they no longer had space above them, while some of the bent LAMEDs could be straight, because in this layout there's space for them. So there isn't anything about the LAMED in the word כל that you have highlighted in red that makes it "straight."  That isn't a feature of the letter in the plain text.  It's a feature of the typeset page.  Just like there's nothing special about an "i" following an "f" (in many fonts) that makes it have no dot; it's just a thing that happens to i following f in those fonts, that they join into an fi ligature.  It isn't a feature of the i, it's a feature of the typesetting.  (OK, that's a bad example because of course fi *is* encoded, but that was due to round-tripping considerations and other stuff that we don't like to apply anymore.  But the idea is still useful.)

More information about the Unicode mailing list