> Custom character semantics are very costly in terms of support, and
> significantly limit users with respect to the selection of applications
> that can be used.
Not to mention that locale and/or "code page" based solutions are awful
in that they either bind the language to a document (a single document
must be expected to written solely using that one locale/page) or having
to use some higher level markup to separate different locales/pages.
In this particular case trying to use "@" as a letter character would lead
into all kinds of pain if the document(s) were then further processed with
software that knows nothing of this new locale/code page. I'm painfully
reminded of the various "national ASCIIs" of the 1980's that "reused"
various punctuation of ASCII to be their national letters.
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