Re: Unicode 3.0 press statements

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 02:34:34 EST

At 11:41 -0800 2000/01/19, wrote:
>We will be issuing a press release for Unicode 3.0, and I am working with a
>press agent now. One thing that she was discussing is that it is very
>useful to include numbers in the statements; it catches the journalist's
>attentions. What she would like to see are statements like:
>Covers 95% of all world languages
>Covers 99% of all languages used in commerce
>I thought it would be useful to query this group for sample statements
>along these lines, statements that would both:
>a) catch people's attention
>b) be true!
>For example, "scripts" don't mean anything to the average Joe; "languages"
>or "countries" do. Yet our focus is in the Consortium is on scripts: I
>don't know what percent of the language coverage we have (some of you may
>have a better notion). On the other hand, I have no doubt that in terms of
>the percentage of text currently represented in computers, that Unicode
>covers over 99% of the usage. So, sometimes the statements have to be
>worded appropriately.
>Mark Davis, IBM Center for Java Technology, Cupertino
>(408) 777-5850 [fax: 5891],,

Don't talk about % of languages. Talk about people.

One of the popular almanacs used to have a single page list of the
languages with the most speakers, and may still do so. I believe that
Unicode now covers all of the scripts listed, which may well cover
the primary language of 99% of the world population, and certainly
covers at least one language of 100% of people engaged in
international trade, treaty organizations, finance, academic
research, science, technology, publishing, and some other activities.

It may be useful to point out that more than half of the world's
population uses writing systems other than Latin alphabet, with China
and India making up nearly a third of the total world population.

Edward Cherlin
"A knot! Oh, do let me help undo it."
Alice in Wonderland

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