Re: fictional scripts revisited

From: Joel Rees (
Date: Sun Feb 25 2001 - 21:35:10 EST

> > This, however, is absurd - one of those 1,000,000 words is
> > "antidisestablishmentarianism", and there's a whole bunch half that long
> > longer. Show me the glyphs for them! This NEC thingy may make cute
> > stuff, but it would be useless for communication. Besides, does anyone
> > really believe that alphabetic writers would decide that they'd rather
> > thousands of glyphs? We're getting deeply fictional here...
> Not to mention the controversy there'd be about unifying the glyphs for
> "colour/color" etc.

From my point of view, encoding "hataraku" and "ugoku" each with a code
point of its own has a certain striking similarity to providing code points
for the words like color and colour. I could have brought up a more
completely parallel example, but do you have the fonts on your machine to
show the JIS appendix characters introduced since level 2? The ones I am
thinking about are probably in the 3.0 standard, and, if not, most likely in
extension B. But do you have the fonts?

I wander.

Many Japanese people deny this, but the closest parallel Japanese has to
what English speakers call letters are the sub-characters English students
of Japanese call radicals. (Kana are more comparable to a phonetic alphabet,
and I avoid refering too casually to Chinese because I have no experience
there.) Encoding the character ugoku is very much like encoding a
spelled-out word in English. Hataraku was originally a variant writing of
ugoku. Now, hataraku means to work and ugoku means to move. The components
of ugoku are "omotai" (heavy, by loose translation) and "chikara". Hataraku
adds a component "hito" (person) on the left. (This is a loose description,
but I don't have time for a more formal effort.)

They have encoded the pre-composited characters separately here primarily
because trying to render on the fly was impossible until fairly recently.
Well, actually, there are other technical issues -- compositing on the fly
still will not produce very pleasing results. (But it could produce legible

I'm sure a lot of the participants on this list are familiar with these
issues. But I think it is worth looking at them again. That's why I brought
them up.

Joel Rees

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