Re: Dutch IJ, again

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat May 24 2003 - 19:00:36 EDT

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    From: "Pim Blokland" <>
    > Karl Pentzlin schreef:
    > > "Dutch 'ij' ...
    > That is true; typing i and j is a lot easier than Alt+0307, or
    > whatever method the system has for inputing it.. Besides, lots of
    > classical fonts don't have an ij glyph.

    Why didn't I find a special casing rule for the *pair* of characters "ij" with Dutch (nl) in the UCD ? This seems a very common practice, and this should have been documented to make it comply with what it should have been interpreted: a possibly erroneous but needed mapping for a single character...

    Before seeing this comment, I really thought that "ij" was just a ligature (even if the Dutch language considers it as a single letter, in a way similar to the Spanish "ch").

    I have seen such "ij" ligatures:
    - with the hand script for lowercase letters (this look mostly like the y with diaeresis, and this explains why a common replacement for this character is y with diaeresis which can be easily input on Belgian keyboards).
    - or with the sans-serif style only with lowercase too with just some kerning but rarely ligated characters

    But I also wondered about the interest of the uppercase "IJ" as an independant character (even for roundtrip compatibility as it appears mostly with Dutch where such confusion with the pair I + J seems correct): it hardly creates a ligature in manual or traditional Fraktur scripts, or even with some "decorated" fonts, or with simpler serif fonts (I may be wrong about this statement, and there exists such ligated forms).

    So thanks for pointing the special casing rule of "ij" for Titlecase mappings (I never saw such Dutch words written with Titlecase, simply because the usage (or abuse?) of Titlecase in English is much more intensive than in other languages with alphabets...

    Note: the titlecase style is normally incorrect with the French orthograph (uppercase letters are considered hard to read and are instead a form of punctuation denoting a starting silence), because uppercase letters are reserved for initials of proper names (always invariable in French, even for plurals) or for the begining of independant sentences (in a way similar to the decorative typographic "lettrine" -- a large and decorated initial letter that marks the beginning of the text of a chapter and spans several lines of the first paragraph). The titlecase style happens more often for book titles, but rarely for chapter titles, for song titles, and never in paragraph titles, or in lists of titles such as indices (also because they are more difficult to read and not necessary semantically)...

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