Re: Traditional dollar sign

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Sat Oct 25 2003 - 11:56:39 CST

On 25/10/2003 10:16, Asmus Freytag wrote:

> 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?
> No.
>> 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.
> A./
The situation seems very similar to that for U+20A4 vs. U+00A3. I was
taught at school in the UK, and I guess Australians were taught before
1966, to write the pound sign with two bars like U+20A4, and in fact I
still usually do so in handwriting. But today the single-barred version
is much more common in print in the UK. And the notes for U+20A4 suggest
that this became true also in Italy, before the Euro was introduced.

I wonder how long before the Euro will also de facto have a single bar?

Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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