Re: Small Latin Letter m with Macron

From: Christoph Päper (
Date: Thu Jan 16 2003 - 01:01:52 EST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Small Latin Letter m with Macron"

    Kenneth Whistler:
    > Christoph Päper asked:
    >> writing "mm" as only one "m" with a macron above.
    > Handwritten forms and arbitrary manuscript abbreviations
    > should not be encoded as characters.

    Although I've got no proof for it, I was told that it has also been used in

    > The text should just be represented as "m" + "m". Then,
    > if you wish to *render* such text in a font which mimics
    > this style of handwriting and uses such abbreviations,
    > then you would need the font to ligate "mm" sequences
    > into a *glyph* showing an "m" with an overbar.

    I constantly confuse "glyph", "character" etc., but wouldn't such a glyph
    need a Unicode code point? "mm" sequences shouldn't be abreviated if they
    appear in a compound word as the junction, thus you couldn't simply ligate

    I'm really not that much into font design / creation, so probably what you
    say is perfectly reasonable.

    > To do otherwise, either representing the plain text content
    > as <m, combining-macron> or with a newly encoded m-macron
    > character, would just distort the *content* of the text,

    I agree on "m¯", but couldn't m-macron be said to be of equal meaning as
    "mm", like U+017F approx. equals "s"?

    > If and only if an m-macron became a part of the accepted,
    > general orthography of German

    You mean like "ß", the ligature of long-s and s?

    > would it make sense to start
    > representing textual content in terms of such a character.

    It most probably never will, after it missed its chance early in the last
    century--actually I've never seen such text myself, I was just curious.

    I still wonder why there are m-acute and m-dot (old Irish Gaelic
    orthography) in Latin Extended Additional and several other characters
    (glyphs?) I've never seen and don't have a use note, but not m-macron. I
    accept that there'll be no more new such "letters", but who forgot m- and

    > And in such a hypothetical future, you would use <m,
    > combining-macron>, because it already exists in Unicode,

    But wouldn't that become either "m" or "m¯" instead of the correct "mm" when
    converted to e.g. ISO-8859-1?

    I guess in such a hypothetical future people would read "Rom¯el" for
    "Rommel" almost fluently, but would definitely wonder about "Romel". Just
    like "ß" can't be replaced by a single "s" but "ss" (or in certain cases

    Btw.: Wouldn't things be easier, e.g. for automatic text transformation, if
    there was an uppercase "ß" that looks just like double capital S?

    Christoph Päper, who's now looking for the abbreviation of "-burg",

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