Re: Small Latin Letter m with Macron

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Jan 15 2003 - 15:35:42 EST

  • Next message: Otto Stolz: "Re: Small Latin Letter m with Macron"

    Christoph Päper asked:

    > I recently learned in <news:de.etc.sprache.deutsch> that there has been a
    > tradition (in handwritten text more than in print) of writing "mm" as only
    > one "m" with a macron above. I can't find any such character in Unicode,
    > just U+1E3F and U+1E41.
    > You could of course build something similar with "m"+U+0305 to resemble the
    > look, but that won't become "mm" (just "m" or "m¯") after a conversion to
    > e.g. ISO-8859-1.
    > Should such a character be added to Unicode (or did I miss it)?


    Handwritten forms and arbitrary manuscript abbreviations
    should not be encoded as characters. 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.

    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,
    which is what the character encoding should be about.

    If and only if an m-macron became a part of the accepted,
    general orthography of German would it make sense to start
    representing textual content in terms of such a character.
    And in such a hypothetical future, you would use
    <m, combining-macron>, because it already exists in
    Unicode, and there is no point to encoding another
    canonically equivalant precomposed character for that


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