From: Doug Ewell (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Dec 09 2004 - 10:27:49 CST
Arcane Jill <arcanejill at ramonsky dot com> wrote:
> [OFF TOPIC] Why do so many people call it "US ASCII" anyway? Since
> "ASCII" comprises that subset of Unicode from U+0000 to U+007F, it is
> not clear to me in what way "US-ASCII" is different from ASCII. It's
> bad enough for us non-Americans that the A in ASCII already stands for
> "American", but to stick "US" on the front as well is just ....
As a note of historical trivia, today's "US-ASCII" isn't even the same
character set as the original "USASCII." That was the 1965 version of
ASCII, which was the first to add support for lowercase letters (the
original 1963 version left those code points empty), but had a few
differences from the final 1967 version. I think @ at 0x40 and ` 0x60
may have been swapped, and the 1965 version may have still had an
up-arrow and left-arrow. (Sorry, I can't find my copy of Mackenzie
It was named "USASCII" because at the time, the American standardization
body was called the United States of American Standards Association
(USASA), having just changed from "ASA" which had contributed to the
original name "ASCII." The name was changed to "ANSI" shortly
thereafter, but as often told, it was decided not to re-rename the
character set to "ANSCII."
Today's "US-ASCII" is so called because of the proliferation of
"national variants" of ISO 646, but since those have largely
disappeared -- they have, haven't they? -- the "US-" does seem
> Anyway, back to the discussion on US-Unicode...
I hope that's just a joke, and not intended to refer to some perceived
American bias in Unicode...
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