Negative/Negation Sign

Gabriel Tellez gtbot2007 at
Sat Oct 29 21:18:16 CDT 2022

> interestingly enough, one of the sources cited for the Wikipedia article
> actually has a mapping to U+203E (spacing overline).

You mean... it's contested?!?!

> These characters were in Unicode from very early on. Unlike some of the
> later additions there is no link to a particular citation "in the wild".
> Instead, the original repertoire collected a superset of then existing
> character sets in reasonably wide usage. If any of their members violated
> Unicode encoding principles, they were added as compatibility characters
> (to facilitate round trip), otherwise as ordinary characters.

Compatibility characters from what set?

APL contents itself with U+207B SUPERSCRIPT MINUS

No? Other then on one Wikipedia Page, most places I looked (including the
APL wiki) used ¯ U+00AF MACRON.

On Sat, Oct 29, 2022 at 8:18 PM Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode <
unicode at> wrote:

> The APL language used a high-minus for negative numbers and a normal
> hyphen-minus for the operator, monadic or dyadic.  The high-minus was
> syntactically part of the number, while the regular minus operated on a
> number (which would affect its precedence.) Come to think of it, when
> they were teaching us negative numbers in grade school I think my math
> book initially used a high-minus sign and then introduced the concept
> that negation was an operation that can be done to numbers and from then
> on used the regular minus sign.
> Non-typographically, Lojban mathematical syntax (mekso) distinguishes
> {vu'u}, the subtraction operator, from {ni'u}, the negative-number
> indicator.  The latter is syntactically considered a *digit*, while the
> former is an operator.
> Unicode has a long history of tolerating the typographic weirdness of
> APL (all those APL symbols).  That there isn't an APL high-minus sign
> already would indicate to me that APL contents itself with U+207B
> SUPERSCRIPT MINUS and that's Just Fine.
> ~mark
> On 10/28/22 18:10, Doug Ewell via Unicode wrote:
> > Gabriel Tellez wrote:
> >
> >> Is superscript minus use for this?
> > Is *anything* used for this, outside of the TI-83 and TI-84 machines,
> other than an ordinary minus sign or hyphen-minus?
> >
> > There are actual mathematics experts on this list, but my understanding
> is that normal mathematical notation—as used both by experts and the
> general public—uses the same symbol for both unary and binary minus. The TI
> calculators may have distinguished between the two to make input or
> internal parsing easier.
> >
> > --
> > Doug Ewell, CC, ALB | Lakewood, CO, US |
> >
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