Re: Traditional dollar sign

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Sat Oct 25 2003 - 11:16:12 CST

At 03:36 AM 10/26/03 +1100, Simon Butcher wrote:
>Just a quick question.. The description for U+0024 (DOLLAR SIGN) states
>that the glyph may contain one or two vertical bars. Is there a codepoint
>specifically for the traditional double-bar form, or any plan to include
>one in the future?


>I was taught at school that the double-bar form was used when Australia
>switched to decimal currency in 1966, and that it was incorrect to write
>the single-bar form when referring to Australian dollars.

It would be interesting if you could document that.

>I guess the single-bar form had taken over due to the lack of support from
>type-faces and computing devices, although it's still quite common to see
>it in Australian publications, especially in large fonts (headlines,
>advertising, etc).

It looks like actual practice is what you describe: the free alternation
between the form without change in meaning.

If we were to add a code point we would get into the situation that the
free alternation would suddenly become a matter of content difference (not
just a choice in presentation). In other cases where the majority of users
freely alternate, but there is indication that some subset of users need to
maintain a form distinction we have used standardized variants. This has
been done mostly for mathematical symbols.

In theory, this could be done here as well, but any thoughts in that
direction would need to be preceded by clear and compelling evidence of an
actual requirement. The case of an official preference that has never been
widely adhered to -- which is what you have described -- would probably not
qualify as grounds for taking any action.


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