From: Marc Wilhelm Küster (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Oct 25 2002 - 09:36:16 EDT
At 14:04 25.10.2002 +0200, Kent Karlsson wrote:
>Font makers, please do not meddle with the authors intent
>(as reflected in the text of the document!). Just as it
>is inappropriate for font makers to use an ø glyph for ö
>(they are "the same", just slightly different derivations
>from "o^e"), it is just as inappropriate for font makers to
>use a "o^e" glyph for ö (by default in a Unicode font). Though
>in some sense the "same" they are still different enough for
>authors to care, and it is up to the document author/editor
>to decide, not the font maker.
My wholehearted support!
DIN asked for the combining letter small e as well as the other combining
small letters specifically to cater for the requirements of scholars in a
number of countries, notably Germany. In a large number of editions and
scholarly dictionaries, both diacritics, the combining diaeresis and the
combining letter e, are used on the very same page, even directly next to
each other. The former is used for modern German words, the latter for
medieval German words.
The combining letter small e does not even necessarily stand for what today
is the umlaut, it may have a number of different interpretations.
For modern and medieval German words, the base font is in these cases the
same -- editions are not normally printed in some sort of pseudo-archaic
For this reason it is quite impermissible to render the combining letter
small e as a diaeresis or, for that matter, the diaeresis as a combining
letter small e (however, you see the latter version sometimes, very
infrequently, in advertisement).
As to the long s, it is not used for writing present-day German except in
rare cases, notably in some scholarly editions and in the Fraktur script.
Very few texts beyond the names of newspapers are nowadays produced in
Fraktur. To put the long s on the German keyboard would be quite contrary
to user requirements -- and if a requirement existed, it would be DIN's job
to amend DIN 2137-2 and the upcoming DIN 2137-12 to cater for it.
Marc Wilhelm Küster
Tel.: (+49) / (0)7472 / 949 100
Fax: (+49) / (0)7472 / 949 114
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