Frank da Cruz responded:
> Markus Kuhn wrote:
> > Frank da Cruz wrote on 1998-10-09 22:16 UTC:
> > >
> > > I appreciate that these characters are, in one sense, the same as the
> > > ones already in the Latin-1 section of Unicode.
> > Isn't it possible (and in fact most probable), that the poor designer of
> > this SNI font just had no clue about that these ordinal indicators are
> > usually superscripted, and therefore by accident included too large
> > glyphs of what really is the same character?
> This is indeed the question. But Siemens Nixdorf is one of the last
> companies I would ever accuse of poor or sloppy design. How many other
> terminals do you know about that implement ISO 2022 properly and allow
> switching among all of the Latin alphabets (except Hebrew and Arabic)?
> However, like practically every other company on earth that invents private
> character sets (with the notable exceptions of Apple and IBM), they do not
> document them except by printing a table. The characters are accompanied by
> neither names nor descriptions, nor codes (like IBM's GCGID)to identify them
> and thus distinguish them from other characters with similar appearance.
> > I am fairly familiar with the mathematical notation, and there is
> > certainly no commonly used mathematical symbol pair "small letter a with
> > underbar" and "small letter o with underbar".
> Of course I am curious about this too. I notice that Unicode has Capital
> and Small Letter B with underbar (at U+1E06,1E07). Ditto for L (1E3A,
> 1E3B), N (1E48,1E49), R (1E5E,1E5F), T (1E6E,1E6F), Z (1E94,1E95), as well
> as small h (1E96). And there is a small letter d with stroke and underbar
> at U_20AB (the Vietnamese Dong sign). But no A or O.
The characters in the 1EXX block WITH LINE BELOW:
1E06;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;0042 0331;;;;N;;;;1E07;
1E07;LATIN SMALL LETTER B WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;0062 0331;;;;N;;;1E06;;1E06
1E0E;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER D WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;0044 0331;;;;N;;;;1E0F;
1E0F;LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;0064 0331;;;;N;;;1E0E;;1E0E
1E34;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER K WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;004B 0331;;;;N;;;;1E35;
1E35;LATIN SMALL LETTER K WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;006B 0331;;;;N;;;1E34;;1E34
1E3A;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;004C 0331;;;;N;;;;1E3B;
1E3B;LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;006C 0331;;;;N;;;1E3A;;1E3A
1E48;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;004E 0331;;;;N;;;;1E49;
1E49;LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;006E 0331;;;;N;;;1E48;;1E48
1E5E;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER R WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;0052 0331;;;;N;;;;1E5F;
1E5F;LATIN SMALL LETTER R WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;0072 0331;;;;N;;;1E5E;;1E5E
1E6E;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;0054 0331;;;;N;;;;1E6F;
1E6F;LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;0074 0331;;;;N;;;1E6E;;1E6E
1E94;LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z WITH LINE BELOW;Lu;0;L;005A 0331;;;;N;;;;1E95;
1E95;LATIN SMALL LETTER Z WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;007A 0331;;;;N;;;1E94;;1E94
1E96;LATIN SMALL LETTER H WITH LINE BELOW;Ll;0;L;0068 0331;;;;N;;;;;
all have combining macrons below. I don't know the exact source of this
transcriptional practice (these are part of the set of characters originating
in the first CD of 10646-1), but it is a systematic *diacritic* applied to
letters. (Arabist? Uralicist?) In any case, the fact that it appears with
consonants, and not vowels is not accidental. And the marking is *not* an
underscore or underline -- it does not form connections between adjacent
letters with the same diacritic.
The bar that is sometimes shown and sometimes not shown underneath the
feminine and masculine ordinal characters:
00AA;FEMININE ORDINAL INDICATOR;Ll;0;L;<super> 0061;;;;N;;;;;
00BA;MASCULINE ORDINAL INDICATOR;Ll;0;L;<super> 006F;;;;N;;;;;
is another animal altogether. It is the artifact of the fairly widespread
manuscript practice in European languages of creating abbreviations by
superscripting one or more letters and then underscoring the raised
letters to highlight the fact that they indicate abbreviations and are
raised in the text. The relevant comparison is not to the diacritic
macrons below in the 1EXX block, but rather to U+2116 NUMERO SIGN. Abbreviated
signs for something like "Numero" could also be seen with a raised "ro", or
"ero", each time optionally and typically underscored. Spanish manuscripts
are particularly rife with this convention, but it is seen in other
languages as well.
> Obviously, if there is no purpose or need for these characters, they should
> not be encoded in the Universal Character Set. Incidently, the SNI glyph
> for "lowercase a with underbar" is quite unmistakenly as described. But the
> glyph that some of us are presuming to be "lowercase o with underbar" does
> not look so much like a letter "O" to me as a perfectly round circle. In
> all the SNI character sets, the letter O is always oblate (and the digit
> zero is always shown with a dot in the center), so maybe this is not a
> letter O after all (nor a zero). Maybe it's a circle, like the one at
> U+25CB, but with an underbar.
The other place to be looking is APL functional symbols. APL used the underscore
productively for the generation of new symbols. If you've got a mathematical
set with a large, circular form underscored, it could just as well be
U+235C APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL CIRCLE UNDERBAR. That's a real underscore in
But if the only characters in question are a small a and an o (big or small,
oblate or spherical) with a bar underneath, the paradigmatic evidence would
have to be that these were just misdrawn glyphs for the feminine and
masculine ordinal indicators. And I'd have to go with Markus' opinion,
regardless of Siemen's reputation for careful design.
> I am trying to get clarification from SNI.
Unless you can find the person(s) responsible for the assignments in
the first place, even such clarification may not help. What is some
poor engineer, 25 years after the fact going to say in response? They'll
just turn to the character experts for clarification, and since the
character experts are unlikely to have access to the casual conversation
that Markus imaginitively recreated, we're just going to get more
hearsay and speculation. Unless... somebody at SNI can turn up
a formal mapping of their terminal set to ISO 8859-1, which would nail
the case for these two.
> - Frank
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