Re: Ie abbreviation character

From: John Hudson (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 09:30:31 EDT

At 05:46 4/30/2002, Lars Marius Garshol wrote:

>Hmmm. I accept Marco's statement that while it's a single symbol, it
>doesn't necessarily have to be a single character. What is the rule
>for deciding whether a single symbol needs one or more characters?
>What happens if I find a font that has this as a single character, for

In a font it might appear as a single *glyph*, but this could represent a
ligature of two characters.

My colleagues at the Typography Dept. of the University of Reading and at
the Central School in London have taken to using the term 'typeform' to
refer to a typographic element that, when seen, is understood to be a
single entity, regardless of how it is encoded or displayed. I think the
Norwegian contraction you are describing probably constitutes a typeform,
at least for you as a reader of Norwegian (another reader, or a reader in a
different language might see it as two typeforms: turned c and colon). The
thing to keep in mind is that the appearance of a typeform does not imply
anything about how it may be or should be encoded or displayed. If you
accept the prevailing argument that there is no need to encode your
contraction as a single, precomposed character in Unicode, I can still
think of half a dozen different ways in which the typeform could be
displayed using varying complexities of glyph processing.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

If meaning is inherently public and rule-governed, then the
fact that I can't read 'Treasure Island' without visualising
Long John Silver as a one-legged version of my grandmother
is of interest only to my psychotherapist and myself.
                                                   Terry Eagleton

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