Re: No Invisible Character - NBSP at the start of a word

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Sun Dec 05 2004 - 16:22:26 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Fw: Nicest UTF"

    On 05/12/2004 00:20, Mark E. Shoulson wrote:

    > John Hudson wrote:
    >> Mark E. Shoulson wrote:
    >>> Well, that's the difference under discussion. The "plain text"
    >>> would seem to be either the qere or the ketiv (but not the combined
    >>> "blended" form), since each of those is somewhat sensible.
    >> Is there some place in the standard where it says text must be sensible?
    > No, but I meant "sensible" in the sense of according with the usual
    > orthographic rules of the language. Stacking 97 different diacritical
    > accents on a single character, for example, would be an abuse of Latin
    > orthography and would not thus be "sensible." ...

    Mark, you might equally argue that stacking three or four different
    diacritical accents on a single Latin character is not "sensible",
    because it doesn't seem so to your American eyes. Nevertheless, there
    are people who do this, in some languages and in IPA, and so Unicode
    needs to support it. You may not like it, but the point of Unicode is to
    represent the writing systems of the world as they are actually used,
    not to pass judgments on whether what they do is "sensible".

    > ... I would say that pointing one text with the vowels of another,
    > without regard for discrepencies in character-count, constitutes an
    > abuse of the Hebrew orthography, ...

    It may appear to your eyes to be an abuse of the orthography, just as to
    others's eyes the distinct Qamats Qatan which you proposed seems to be
    an abuse of the orthography. Nevertheless, both these kinds of
    discrepancies and Qamats Qatan are actually used in a significant number
    of publications. Indeed the blended Qere/Ketiv forms are in nearly every
    Hebrew Bible written or printed over more than 1000 years. They may be
    "abnormal" in some sense, but this is no argument for them not being
    representable in Unicode.

    > ... and shouldn't be considered "normal" usage that must be supported.
    > That said, I have nothing against using NBSP and various other tricks
    > and winding up supporting this. Even the INVISIBLE LETTER might make
    > sense in some settings (e.g. where you have something to be drawn in
    > later but the diacritic is printed now, for some reason). Just that I
    > don't considere qere/ketiv per se a very convincing argument in a
    > plain-text domain.
    > ~mark

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Dec 05 2004 - 16:41:22 CST