Re: Mixed up priorities

From: Jonathan Rosenne (
Date: Wed Oct 27 1999 - 01:49:09 EDT

So, after all it appears not to have originated in Redmond, and it's not
American imperialism. What a relief.


At 18:51 26/10/99 -0700, G. Adam Stanislav wrote:
>At 10:45 22-10-1999 -0700, wrote:
>> Yeah, really. Back when typewriters were being developed, the
>> people of Czechoslovakia were a pretty clever lot. If they were
>> so concerned about the character "ch", why didn't they build
>> typewriter with a "ch" key?
>Very simple: There weren't enough keys. The typewriters for either Slovak
>or Czech certainly do not contain all characters (or what some have called
>letters here) used by the two languages.
>There are just too many characters/letters/whatevers in the two languages
>to fit on a typewriter keyboard. So, we Slovaks are no strangers to
>precomposed characters. We use four different diacritics, generally
>referred to as acute, caron, circumflex, and diaeresis. Czechs also use the
>ring. Plus, many Slovak typewriters have the "scharfes S" because many
>Slovaks (and Czechs) used German as the second language at the time the
>typewriter was invented (we were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire).
>It would not be pragmatic to place a CH on the typewriter keyboard when
>there is not even enough room for all characters using diacritics: It is
>easier to type a C followed by an H than to type a diacritic dead key
>followed by a character (mostly because the diacritics use shifted keys, so
>you need more effort to precompose an "accented" character than a ch).

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