Re: alternative names for letterlike symbols(was..Re: Release of Unicode 4.0)

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Apr 22 2003 - 15:41:49 EDT

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    Jungshik asked:

    > BTW, would it be still possible to change alternative names(NOT names)
    > for some characters in TUS 4.0?

    No. This list, along with all the other data files, is now frozen
    for Unicode 4.0.

    > Maybe not. I should have reported these
    > earlier at least when 'bad names list' was compiled the other day or
    > when permille was talked about or even earlier when I wrote abuot U+2130
    > (in 2001?)

    The following suggestions are being salted away as possible
    updates for Unicode 4.1 (or whatever the next opportunity turns
    out to be).

    > 'gradient' ( is not listed
    > as an alternative name to U+2207 (NABLA) while the chart lists 'del' and
    > even Laplace operator (Laplacian/Laplacian operator) that is represented
    > not by U+2207 but by U+2207 followed by superscript 2. 'Laplace operator
    > (written with superscript 2)' has to to be 'informative note' rather
    > than an alternative name. 'gradient' has to take its place.
    > U+210B(Script Capital H) is annotated with 'Hamiltonian function'
    > while U+2112(Script Capital L) is with 'Laplace
    > symbol'. Although some people refer to what most people simply
    > call 'Hamiltonian' as 'Hamiltonian function' (I wouldn't
    > believe this if google had not come up with a number of matches.
    > (, it may have
    > been better to give more common alternative names 'Hamiltonian' or
    > 'Hamiltonian operator'. As for U+2112, Largrange wouldn't have liked the
    > fact that 'L' is exclusively attributed to Laplace by Unicode when U+2112
    > is used for 'Largrangian' as widely as for 'Laplace transform'. Besides
    > U+2131 (Script Capital F) has an alternative name 'Fourier transform' so
    > that I think it is more consistent to do the same withU+2112 with by
    > giving an alternative name 'Laplace transform' in addition to 'Largrangian'
    > I'm proposing.


    uses an italic-L, *not* a script-L, for the Lagrangian. (In more
    than one instance, so this is not just a point mistake.)

    The same site uses a script-L for the Laplace transform. So it
    would seem to me that the Unicode annotation in this case is

    > U+212F may as well have a second alternative 'natural exponent'.

    Regarding the following issue for squared Latin abbreviations,
    if you have specific suggestions for annotations, then make
    them. However, as you surmise, I don't think the UTC is
    likely to consider further annotation of this particular
    batch of compatibility characters to be of much great


    > Finally, a bunch of 'Squared Latin Abbreviations' (U+3380 -
    > U+33DD, U+3371 - U+3376) may need better alternative names (or
    > informational notes) than they have have now because their names
    > (e.g. Square NA for nano ampere) are not so descriptive [1] as names of
    > characters of a similar nature, U+2120 (Service Mark), U+2120 (Telephone
    > Sign), and U+2122(Trade Mark Sign). Of course, this is not necessary
    > if they were given obscure names and no alternative names/informational
    > note on purpose to discourage their use because they can be just easily
    > replaced by sequences of Latin/Greek letters and are included only
    > for the sake of compatibility with CJK standards.
    > Jungshik
    > [1] U+3380 is named 'SQUARE PA AMPS' whereas other characters
    > in the series of 'amperes' are just named 'SQUARE NA', 'SQUARE MU A',
    > 'SQUARE MA', and 'SQUARE KA'. U+3380 is 'pA' (pico ampere) and not
    > for 'PA Amp'. These square characters may not be at the top
    > of the list of characters with bad names, but belong to it.

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