Re: Dutch IJ, again

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Sun May 25 2003 - 15:57:12 EDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "24 May"

    You didn't find it because although various people have muttered about
    it in the past, nobody has yet made a formal proposal to the UTC,
    listing all the specific changes that would be needed for the text and
    data files.

    ► “Eppur si muove” ◄

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Philippe Verdy" <>
    To: "Pim Blokland" <>
    Cc: <>
    Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2003 16:00
    Subject: Re: Dutch IJ, again

    > 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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