Re: Caron / Hacek?

From: Jim Allan (
Date: Thu Jun 12 2003 - 14:23:10 EDT

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    Pim Blokland posted:

    > However, having said all this, I'm not sure it's a Unicode issue.
    > What is to prevent font makers from creating fonts with glyphs that
    > look like ˇ for every caron? The Unicode Consortium doesn't force
    > the appearance of glyphs, only the font makers do.

    Chapter 7 of the Unicode standard ( is
    reasonably good at not being descriptive and not prescriptive in this

    << When Czech is printed in books, U+010F LATIN SMALL LETTER D WITH
    CARON and U+0165 LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH CARON letter forms with
    apostrophe are often used instead of letter forms with caron (hacek)
    over the base forms. In Slovak, this use also applies to U+013E LATIN
    SMALL LETTER L WITH CARON. The use of an apostrophe can avoid some line
    crashes over the ascenders of those letters and so result in better
    typography. In typewritten or handwritten documents, or in didadactic
    and pegagogical material, on the other hand, letter forms with haceks
    are preferred. Languages other than Czech or Slovak that make use of
    these characters may simply choose to always use the forms with haceks. >>

    The last sentence alone strikes a wrong note. We have been told that
    "letter forms with apostophe" are "often" used in Czech, which indicates
    by necessity that letter forms with hacek are also used in Czech, just
    somewhat less often.

    Accordingly the last sentence should read something like:

    << It is not improper in any language that make use of these characters
    to simply choose to always use the forms with haceks. >>

    This would also avoid the oddity of suggesting that the languages
    themselves may choose.

    Of course no matter what one says about what is proper or what is
    "preferred", someone is likely to be found who will dispute it.

    Jim Allan

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