Re: Use of the Florin symbol not as a currency symbol; polysemous

From: John Jenkins (
Date: Fri Oct 01 1999 - 11:59:25 EDT

Michael does his usual nail-head-hitting:

> Ar 06:56 -0700 1999-10-01, scríobh John Cowan:
>>Karl Pentzlin scripsit:
>>> My argument was simply: Maybe it is not the optimal solution to *introduce*
>>> such polysemous use for new characters without compelling reason. Now, we
>>> *have* enough characters to avoid that.
>>The Mac has, in fact, introduced a polysemous use: hook-f-symbol is both
>>"folder symbol" and "florin symbol".
> No. The Mac put a "florin sign" into their code table, and users took
> advantage of it as an abbreviation for "folder" in directory names. Unicode
> unification of "florin sign" with "African f-hook" has given rise to the
> mapping 0xC4 -> U+0192.

I've never see Apple anywhere *recommend* the use of the florin sign for
"folder" in directory names. We ourselves tend to use the word "folder" (or
equivalent) or nothing. But it's a handy abbreviation and a lot of people
use it.

Similarly I've seen a lot of people use pi for "project" and so on. And
there were rumors that some people were using the old universal currency
sign as a field separator in databases before we had to pull it to make room
for the euro. These practice has grown up to take advantage of the symbols
in the code set. We have never defined the *meaning* of the symbols that

John H. Jenkins

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