Re: [OT] multilingual support in MS products (was Re: Kurdish ghayn)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sun Apr 27 2003 - 22:14:22 EDT

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: [OT] multilingual support in MS products (was Re: Kurdish ghayn)"

    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.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

    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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