Re: VCR technical symbols?

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sun Aug 28 2005 - 12:57:09 CDT

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    Johannes Bergerhausen wrote:

    > And of course technical symbols (like the worldwide spread play, pause,
    > skip, etc.)
    > need to be exchanged electronically in plain text.

    I think the VCR control symbols are an edge case, and I wouldn't call them 'technical'
    symbols. They are user interface symbols. As such, they represent very simple, usually one
    word interface options -- play, pause, stop, etc. --, and exist to provide small and
    linguistically neutral symbols that can be applied to buttons. Since plain text, in order
    to be meaningful, is seldom ever linguistically neutral, there seems to me little *need*
    for such symbols to be exchanged electronically because the words they represent can
    always be used instead. Technical symbols proper, e.g. for geometrical tolerancing,
    represent mathematical relationships and concepts that cannot be so easily and efficiently
    expressed in words.

    I'm not saying that VCR user interface symbols should not be encoded, but I am saying that
    I don't find the plain text exchange of such symbols to be an obvious need. There are an
    awful lot of meaningful symbols in the world, and I think very few of them *need* to be
    exchanged electronically in plain text.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

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