From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 25 2003 - 15:01:50 EDT
At 05:41 PM 9/25/03 +0100, Richard Ishida wrote:
>Aha. Maybe, next time I try to explain it on the plane, I'll say
>"Unicode is a standard for enabling your computer to represent all the
>letters of all the alphabets of the world."
>Still not terribly accurate and deliberately vague (and could refer in
>their mind to characters and/or fonts), but then the average layman
>probably wouldn't know or need to know it was innaccurate or vague.
I usually like to say that
"Unicode is a simply a list, you know, like a catalog, where you can find
all the letters of all the alphabets of the world."
That allows me to segue to the tasks that people perform.
"If all the computers in the world use the same list, you can type in any
language anywhere and people on the opposite end of the earth can read it."
Why is this good?
"If everybody uses their own list, as used to be the case, very often
theres a mismatch and instead of text you get garbage, or random letters on
For the longer answer (still for newbies) see the first part of my Unicode
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