From: Karl Pentzlin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 09:55:12 CST
Am Mittwoch, 16. Februar 2005 um 15:10 schrieb Werner LEMBERG:
WL> Using `▀' within uppercase words is plain wrong -- the `Duden'
WL> explicitly says (even for the new German orthography) that it has to
WL> be replaced with `SS'. In seldom cases (`Masse' vs. `Ma▀e') it should
WL> be replaced with `SZ' to avoid ambiguity.
This is a pure normative point of view. The living language has
developed another way and proves the capital forms "SS" and "SZ"
as plain wrong.
As pointed out frequently, Unicode is not to enforce special
spellings, but to encode characters which are in fact used.
The "▀" in capitalized German text is fact.
It is very hard to find "▀" capitalized as "SS", except in schoolbooks.
I never have seen the "SZ" variant except in the Duden itself or on
very old technical drawings.
"▀" occurs in "Stra▀e" (street) and therefore is a very common part
of postal addresses. This fact gives opportunity to show how the
uppercasing of "▀" is really handled by official bodies:
E.g. in my car papers from 2004, issued by a communal authority,
my street is printed "KANZLEISTRA▀E".
The Deutsche Post (German Post) requires forms (for new address
after moving) to be filled in by all capital letters, but explicitly
to write "▀" not "SS".
If a "▀" occurs as such in capitalized text, this can be interpreted
in two ways:
a.) "▀" is a case-invariant letter, like Cyrillic U+04C0.
b.) There is a capital letter "▀", for which the glyph of
the lowercase "▀" may be used.
Andreas St÷tzner's proposal at
shows evidence that a capital sharp s is in fact used in some "good
typography", but that in "every day use" the (hitherto) lower case
letter is used as upper case also.
To handle "▀" in capitalized text correctly, there may be another way
than encoding a new character "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SHARP S":
1.) Change the properties of U+00DF "▀" to "caseless" like U+04C0.
2.) Add a note to the description of U+00FD in the standard that the
"SMALL" in the name is historical.
3.) Define a standardized variant sequence U+00DF U+FE00 "LATIN SMALL
LETTER SHARP S capital form".
This would reflect the fact that a single case independent glyph
is used for "▀" in almost all cases, expect where "good" typography
is important. Moreover, existing texts which use U+00DF for "▀" in
capitalized context would not be broken.
-- Karl Pentzlin AC&S Analysis Consulting & Software GmbH Schongau (Bavaria), Germany
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