From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Dec 11 1997 - 15:29:29 EST

Michael Everson clarified:
> Ar 11:01 -0800 1997-12-11, scríobh Keld J|rn Simonsen:
> >A question about U3007 IDEOGRAPHIC NUMBER ZERO: Is this character used
> >as a digit, and how wide is this use, if any?
> One interpretation of what Keld means is this: would use of it and the
> related numbers on a calculator be considered incorrect, or
> strange-but-acceptable, or what?

It would be very strange--not because ideographs cannot be used
as digits, but because the cultural and technical context for
a calculator is wrong.

The kind of place you find ideographic zero and Han characters 1-9
used as decimal radix digits is in context like postal zipcodes
rendered in vertical text, for example. (Check the collophon of
many older Chinese or Japanese books to see instances.) You also see
Western years rendered this way on occasion, especially in
vertical text, where it is easier to just set the four kanji,
rather than turning the Arabic numbers sideways. Of course, you
may also see full-width Arabic digits instead, too.

Newer typesetting practice tends to just go ahead and use the
Western digits.


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