explanation for 0xFB20 - Alternative Ayin

From: Maxim Iorsh (iorsh@math.technion.ac.il)
Date: Fri Jan 24 2003 - 04:05:14 EST

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    Dear fellows!

    This message is a request to express your opinion. I propose to include an
    explanation on the letter 0xFB20 - "HEBREW LETTER ALTERNATIVE AYIN" into
    the Unicode standard. Presently chapter 8.1 (Hebrew script) mentions that
    there are some alternative hebrew letters in the "Alphabetic presentation
    forms" block, and gives explanation regarding the nature of some of them,
    but not that one.

    In fact, the alternative form of Ayin replaces the basic form (0x05E2)
    when there is a diacritical mark below it. The basic form of Ayin has a
    descender (by the way, in contrary to the official chart) which can
    interfere with a mark below the letter. To make a text look more pleasing,
    typesetters of Bible substitute the alternative form which has no
    descender and thus looks fine together with mark.

    This is a common convention, but I don't know whether it deserves to be
    mentioned in the standard.

    Another remark is that the current charts (A) don't put enough emphasis on
    the difference of the shape between both forms, and (B) show them in
    switched places - basic form with descender is located at the 0xFB20, and
    alternative form without descender is located at 0x05E2

    Thank you for your attention!

    Best regards,
            Maxim Iorsh
            Culmus Project (culmus.sf.net)

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