Negative/Negation Sign

Asmus Freytag asmusf at
Sun Oct 30 02:55:56 CDT 2022

On 10/29/2022 10:20 PM, Anshuman Pandey via Unicode wrote:
> While we’re on this topic, I’d like to interfere with the need to 
> encode a distinctive negation sign used in the Bakhshali manuscript, a 
> mathematical treatise written in the Sharada script:
> Obviously, using the common ‘+’ for indicating negation in plain text 
> does not capture the semantic intent of the Sharada ‘+’.
I see that the proposal is from 2013 and in the intervening 9 years 
hasn't been encoded. And that's a good thing. As usual, it's impossible 
with a simple search to locate the result of any UTC deliberation or 
decision on this to verify the status.


>> On Oct 29, 2022, at 9:19 PM, Gabriel Tellez via Unicode 
>> <unicode at> wrote:
>>     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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