Re: Display of Isolated Nonspacing Marks (problems with UAX#29)

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Mon Aug 11 2003 - 06:25:16 EDT

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    On 10/08/2003 18:44, Doug Ewell wrote:

    >Has it occurred to anyone yet that the very *concept* of spacing
    >diacritics is a hack? Spacing diacritics are used to conduct a sort of
    >meta-discussion about characters, as in "A base character o is combined
    >with an acute accent ´ to create ó." They are not part of the normal
    >writing systems of most natural languages.
    >It is as if I were describing the two typical glyphs used for lower-case
    >g, the one with "one bowl" and the one with "two bowls," but actually
    >showing the separate, constituent pieces of the glyphs instead of using
    >words to describe them. They are interesting things to talk about, but
    >not necessarily things that need to be encoded in plain text.
    >-Doug Ewell
    > Fullerton, California
    They are indeed interesting things to talk about, and many people do
    talk about them, and they appear in many texts (including the Unicode
    Standard!). The goal of Unicode is to define characters which people
    use, and that must include documents about languages e.g. dictionaries,
    tutorials, discussions of writing systems etc - which, put together,
    form a significant proportion of publishing output. They are indeed
    meta-content but that does not disqualify them from being plain text.
    Spacing diacritics clearly come into the category of characters which
    people use, and so should be defined, and properly and unambiguously
    so, by the standard.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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