Re: Transcriptions of "Unicode"

From: Erik van der Poel (
Date: Thu Dec 07 2000 - 00:44:12 EST

"John H. Jenkins" wrote:
> This doesn't reflect, however, the way people actually use these
> ideographs. By and large, the Japanese reader wants to see them
> drawn with the Japanese glyph, whether or not the originator was
> Chinese.

Is this really true? You've been involved with the IRG for a long time,
so I probably shouldn't question this, but it seems like a Chinese book
from a Chinese originator ought to be printed with Chinese glyphs, and I
assume that that is what a Japanese reader would expect (assuming that
they can read Chinese in the first place).

But of course we aren't really talking about printed material here. This
is the Unicode mailing list, so we're discussing digital media. So how
about an email in Chinese, from a Chinese originator, sent to a Japanese
reader? If the Japanese reader could read Chinese, wouldn't they expect
to see Chinese glyphs? Wouldn't Japanese glyphs look somewhat out of
place in a Chinese language document?

> There are some cases where the specific glyph *does* matter, largely
> in personal names. (We had a mildly heated discussion this morning
> in the IRG meeting going on about how to show one particular glyph
> for precisely this reason.) By and large, however, it is recognized
> that the glyph differences do *not* affect meaning and should be up
> to the reader, not forced by the originator.

This immediately reminds me of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), where there
are 3 kinds of style sheets: the browser's default, the author's, and
the user's. For normal style rules, the precedence is as follows:

  author > user > browser

However, in order to allow the user to override the author, it is
possible to mark a rule with "!important", and when the rules are marked
this way, the precedence is:

  user > author > browser

So, yes, it is possible for the user to override the author's suggested


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