Date: Sat Mar 05 2005 - 20:53:40 CST
I believe your analysis is incorrect. You leave no room for the period when
separate characters are moving *toward* a unitary identity -- as regarded
conceptually and/or as used in actual printing. And you leave no room for a
permanently incomplete unification, with acceptable variation in normal use.
And you leave no room for a unified symbol in printing use, which nonetheless
still has a clearly separable meaning conceptually, to which it could
acceptably default if really necessary.
You can write the words "one divided by four" or you can write "1/4" as three
characters, or you can write "1/4" as a ligature to make it fit in nicely with
In this Greek context, "epsilon/omicron" and "eta/omega" still very much have
a separable conceptual identity -- the slash is literally an instruction to
the reader, saying use one "or" the other in your conjugation.
And from the badly kerned triplets I've seen, it has certainly been *formed*
as a ligature in printing tradition.
And in a practical sense today, as well, it would be silly for me to invent a
post-ligature identity for this -- as the separate characters are perfectly
readable -- just like 1/4 -- without the ligature if necessary.
Thank goodness Unicode has the flexibility in this one situation, if none
other, that the opinions a very small number of people can't rule the world
for everyone else who uses typography!
Jon Hanna wrote:
> > Isn't percent sign a visual "ligature" of zero-slash-zero --
> > regardless of any
> > mathmatical implications?
> No it isn't. It may be derived from that, but it's long since become a
> separate character.
> > Isn't "fli" a visual "ligature" -- and absolutely nothing
> > more than a visual
> > combination of three glyphs, with no alteration in meaning?
> Yes it is. I don't know of an fli character, though there are fl, fi, ffl
> and ffi ligatures encoded, but this is for compatibility with legacy
> encodings. This is not the recommended way of ligating letters, and some
> ligatures that should arguably be included for completeness aren't encoded
> because they weren't encoded in the legacy encodings.
> (As an aside, does anyone agree that the text in the Unicode Standard would
> look nicer if they ligated fi?)
> > For an obscure symbol like this, it doesn't seem appropriate
> > to move from
> > "ligature" to characterhood
> Whether it is a character or a ligature is entirely unrelated to its
> > How curious.
> When I'm curious about something I act on that curiosity.
> Jon Hanna
> Work: <http://www.selkieweb.com/>
> Play: <http://www.hackcraft.net/>
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