RE: In defense of Plane 14 language tags (long)

From: Thomas Chan (
Date: Tue Nov 05 2002 - 18:56:39 EST

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: In defense of Plane 14 language tags (long)"

    On Tue, 5 Nov 2002, Marco Cimarosti wrote:

    > Doug Ewell wrote:
    > > Readers are asked to consider the following arguments individually, so
    > > that any particular argument that seems untenable or contrary to
    > > consensus does not affect the validity of other arguments.
    > > 1. Language tags may be useful for display issues.
    > > The most commonly suggested use, and the original impetus,
    > > for Plane 14 language tags is to suggest to the display
    > > subsystem that “Chinese-style” or “Japanese-style” glyphs
    > > are preferred for unified Han characters. [...]
    > IMHO, there has never been any practical need to consider these glyphic
    > differences in plain text. It is a non-issue raised to the rank of issue
    > because of obscure political reasons.
    > It is false that Japanese is unreadable if displayed with Chinese-style
    > glyphs, or that Polish is unreadable if displayed with Spanish-styles acute
    > accents.

    It is also not even an issue of language, but national glyph preferences.

    It is only through situations such as Chinese (language) used in
    mainland China and Chinese (language) used in Taiwan that we are able to
    disambiguate whether glyph preference differences are due to language or
    country--and it is country, because mainland China has implemented glyph
    reforms that reduce the differences between printing and handwritten
    print forms by making the former resemble the latter[1]. Certainly, it is
    confusing what part of "Japanese-style glyphs" is due to language or
    country, but it is misleading to present it as a language issue, and use
    the worst case scenario (comparison with glyphs from mainland China) for
    illustration; many of the "differences" vanish if a comparison is made
    with more conservative-looking glyphs from Taiwan.

    [1] A "xin-jiu zixing duizhao julie" chart (select examples of comparison
    of new and old character glyph forms), from the 1979 PRC_Cihai_
    Each of the four columns contains three subcolumns, where the leftmost
    subcolumn is the new form, the center subcolumn is the old form, and
    rightmost subcolumn gives examples of characters utilizing the new glyph
    forms. The circled number refers to the number of strokes. Among the
    examples is the fifth example in the third column from the left, of
    U+75F4 'straight/direct', and the thirteenth example in the same column,
    U+9AA8 'bone'. (It is true that some of these glyph reforms have been
    encoded separately as separate characters, although some cases are due to
    source separation.)

    Thomas Chan

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