re: little lines below

From: Alain LaBont\i (
Date: Thu Nov 12 1998 - 00:09:38 EST

A 20:02 98-11-11 -0800, Keld J|rn Simonsen a écrit :
>> [Alain] :
>> With all due respect, it is like saying that a red wall is white just
>> because it is lighted by a red light in the dark. (;
>> If one wants to say N DEGREES, in French, like in English, one will
>> explicitly writes so, not write "n°" (btw in French, when we want to write
>> two words, we write a space in between, i.e. "n °" could, very
>> hypothetically, mean EN DEGREES).
>> "N°" or "n°" is definitely used only to indicate "numéro" in French. But if
>> one wants to use a red light in the dark to understand something else in
>> limited and absolutely out-of-this-world conditions, this situation is
>> always theoretically possible, and part of the [sci-]fiction domain (;

[Keld] :
>Why dont you use the MASCULINE ORDINAL INDICATOR which is
>shown as a small 'o' with a line underneath?
>I thought "No" was an abbreviation of "Numero" and that
>the MASCULLIN ORDINAL INDICATOR was useful to indicate
>an 'o' in the ending of a word.

[Alain] :
It used to be like this for all ending abbreviations in French. Nowadays
this practice still exists but is is old-fashioned, and certainly
unpractical with IT systems. The maculine ordinal indicator would be a very
poor usage as it would only apply to this abbreviation, while other
abbreviations in the same style would not be catered to so easily.

The masculin and feminin indicators were initially coded in Latin 1 mainly
for Portuguese, a brother language of French (of course). That said,
anybody can use them, for any usage, in any language! But it is not the
current usage in French, simply, anywhere on all the continents, oceans and
islands where French is officially used (49 countries on all the surface of
earth, without counting unofficial usage, also astonishingly widespread,
even in the USA where I am now [yes, even in Texas!!]). "Nº" is rather
written "N°" in current French language usage (although the font I'm using
now under Windows on my ThinkPad only shows a subtle difference -- it does
not show the horizontal bar of the ordinal indicator!!! For searching that
is misleading, btw).

Alain LaBonté
San Antonio, TX

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