[OT] RE: What a difference a glyph makes...

From: Marco.Cimarosti@icl.com
Date: Wed Jul 26 2000 - 15:10:28 EDT

Alistair Vining wrote:
> I assume you're joking here (the internet irony firewall is
> still up). An L
> with two bars is an acceptable glyph for UK pounds as well.
> They're both
> the same (libra) sign. Or are you saying that an L with one
> bar would be
> (completely) unacceptable for (Italian) lire?

I am semi-serious and, personally, I agree with your statement. But the
one-bar and two-bar glyph is the only visible difference between the two
characters in the Unicode charts.

Of course, "Unicode encodes abstract characters, not glyphs", but as the
dollar/peso history teaches, there are cases when you have to be careful
using the "wrong" glyph.

Moreover, if not for the different glyph, I can see no reason why the
Italian and Turkish currencies have one code point, while the British and
Irish currencies have another. After all both symbols, as you say, were
actually the abbreviation of Latin "libra", that means "pound" (in weight:

And all four currencies above are called the same in some languages (e.g.,
"lira" in Italian: "lira italiana, lira turca, lira sterlina, lira

BTW, apart hand-written prices in road markets (where the sign normally has
*two* bars), none of these symbols is currently used in Italy (we rather use
"Lit"). I suspect this is because the Italian government knows Italians, and
wanted to avoid anybody having the idea of paying taxes in Turkish

> Have people started writing the Euro with only one bar yet?
> The issue is,
> after all, rapidly disappearing for the Irish and Italians.

Have people started hand-writing the euro, yet? I wonder how this complies
with EU regulation that prescribes a precise glyph design for the symbol.
Will people need to go around with compass and rule to write cheques?

_ Marco

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