From: John Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Apr 27 2003 - 22:14:22 EDT
At 12:18 PM 4/27/2003, Thomas Milo wrote:
>No Dutchman - whether he is involved in type or not - can be amazed by the
>existence of IJ.
No one is amazed that it exists as a grapheme, but my Dutch colleagues are
frequently surprised to discover that it is a *character* in Unicode, and
they wonder why. Perhaps this is one of those characters that needs its
story told: I've heard that it was encoded for backwards compatibility with
an existing standard, but no one I've asked seems to know which standard,
or whether this standard is still in use by anyone.
>Unicode deals with graphemes, and there IJ is already recognized as such.
No, Unicode deals with *characters*. There are plenty of graphemes in many
languages that are composed of two or more characters, and which will never
be encoded as distinct characters. Some months ago there was a lengthy
discussion about the Slovak 'ch' digraph, in which it was patiently
explained that there is nothing that can be done with a 'ch' character that
cannot be done with a combination of 'c' and 'h'. I am not aware of any
difference between this example and the Dutch IJ/ij case, other than that
the latter existed in an older standard and so needed to be encoded for
backwards compatibility. If this had not been the case, I don't believe the
UTC would have been any more accepting of the Dutch IJ/ij than they would
have been of any other digraph.
Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com
Vancouver, BC email@example.com
As for the technique of trimming the nib,
Do not be greedy!
I will not reveal its nuances; I withhold its secrets.
- Ibn al-Bawwab, Ra'iyyah
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