From: Antoine Leca (Antoine10646@leca-marti.org)
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 13:14:18 CDT
On Tuesday, September 20th, 2005 14:22Z Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> Since the letter ae, æ/Æ, popped up, I think I need to ask why it is
> considered as a letter used in French.
Because there are genuine French words (of remote Latin origin and of
scientific/pedantic use mainly) which use it. By the way, in French it is
not a letter, but a digraph, like O.
Nowadays, the difference between Æ (as in et cætera) and say Ñ (as in cañon)
or O (in words of Japanese origin) is pretty moot, IMO.
> I noticed it in the CLDR material, where it is listed as a _necessary_
About whether it is "necessary", I cannot comment, that is not my material.
It looks like French people are perfectly able to write French without Æ, O,
Y, É and so on.
> I haven't seen it in any description of French orthography, or
> actually used in French.
Not-completely-brocken dictionnaires use it normally, if you take the pain
to search for it. It is collated as A+E, so « æschne » occurs after adition
and before Africain.
> I'm still puzzled by the French keyboard. It even has an almost unused
> key, the one on the left right, for producing just superscript 2.
The additionnal key (46th? 48th?) is useless in a number of keyboard layout.
My guess is that it was added at a later stage, because "others" locales
needed it badly. French AZERTY was standardized much earlier, so it was far
too late to re-educate the legions of typists, to make profit of it (also,
before the marketing era, it was not common to waste piles of still useful
typewriters. It was a different philosophy then.)
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