RE: Paper on the (misnaming) of the Hangzhou numerals in ISO/IEC 1064

From: Tom Emerson (
Date: Mon Mar 06 2000 - 12:30:49 EST

Possibly, though I'm surprised that the IRG would make a mistake like that.
I believe that it is also the case that Suzhou and Hangzhou are
geographically close to one another. It is an interesting conundrum (at
least to me). Unfortunately mail to the IRG has remained unanswered.

I think my wife said it best: "Does it matter?" In the scheme of things,
probably not.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2000 12:16 PM
Subject: RE: Paper on the (misnaming) of the Hangzhou numerals in
ISO/IEC 1064

Tom Emerson wrote:
> A while back I became interested (obsessed) with the origin of the name
> "Hangzhou" associated with a range of code points in Unicode. After much
> digging, and with a little help from my friends, I've found, with quite a
> degree of certainty, that they are missnamed, and that they should be
> called the "Suzhou" numerals. [...]

Perhaps the misnaming was caused by a misread hanzi?

Take a look at the attached picture (please, try and forgive my horrible

Ideograph (2) is the "simplified" form of "su" in "Suzhou" as it appears in
section 3 of your paper.

Ideograph (1) is an ideograph pronounced "hang"! Don't the two guys look
quite similar?

The entry for character (1) from the Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English
Dictionary, Oxford University Press and The Commercial Press, Oxford/Beijing
1986 (ISBN 0 19 584048 8] reads:

        "hāng: I (n) rammer; tamper II (v) ram; tamp; pound"

I wonder, then, what the meaning of the compound "Hangzhou" is... Something
like "Tampershire", I guess 8-)

_ Marco

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