Re: Greek curled beta in Unicode code chart

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sun Jul 03 2005 - 12:36:59 CDT

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    Alexej Kryukov wrote:

    > First, curly beta is a special case among other "symbol" Greek
    > letters, because it is not just an alternate form. For example, there
    > are no (or very few of) editions were 8-shaped epsilon is used alongside
    > with lunate epsilon, or or straight phi with looped phi. However, for
    > curly beta there is a stable tradition, which assigns to it a special
    > role, different from beta with descender.

    This is still no reason to use a different codepoint from that for the standard beta.
    Using smart font technology, one can contextually substitute the appropriate form at the
    beginning of words. In an OpenType font, this would be done with the Contextual Alternates
    <calt> feature. One could even set these up within a French 'language system' tag, if one
    wanted to associate this behaviour with a French convention for typesetting Greek.

    Regarding the 'correct' look of U+03D0, I think the version shown in the Unicode charts is
    an adequate form of the cursive beta, and the difference in detail to which you point is
    simply a stylistic variation in particular typefaces. I wouldn't object to the change that
    you suggest, but I don't think it is necessary.

    By the way, I believe there is also a French convention regarding the use of the cursive
    theta at the beginning of words, yes?

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    Truth and tolerance, by Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger as was
    An autobiography from the Jesuit underground, by William Weston SJ
    War (revised edition), by Gwynne Dyer

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