Re: Roman Numerals (was Re: Improper grounds for rejection of proposal N2677)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 12:38:55 CST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Roman Numerals (was Re: Improper grounds for rejection of proposal N2677)"

    From: "Michael Everson" <>
    > At 19:00 +0400 2005-10-28, Andrew S wrote:
    >>Michael Everson wrote:
    >>> You should use the regular Latin letters.
    > Fine. Do what you want, if you don't want to take my advice.

    I'm surprized by your response and opinion Michael. I think you are a
    typograph with knowledge of medieval graphies and conventions, where
    distinctions were (and are still today) made between roman numerals and
    Latin letters (in addition to the fact that they have distinct semantics,
    and that they combine differently), so preserving all those distinctions
    should be important for you.

    This is probably even more important than the hypothetic case of aural
    rendering distinctions when reading "Pie XI".

    The current use of those distinctions is to avoid matching words or
    abbreviations in plain text searches with some Roman numerals like "ML",
    'I', "CV", "CIC", "LIX"...

    Of course one can add the distinctions with upper-level rich-text formating
    (such as on French Wikipedia where the Roman numerals are built by putting
    them within Roman formating templates, that allow showing them with a small
    capitals style, custom fonts with serifs due to the addition of a "roman"
    class in the generated HTML, and with a help tooltip showing the modern
    European decimal numbers).

    But this does not solve easily the problem of representing large Roman
    numbers: there are lots of conventions, and a full-text search will not
    match easily all the various ways to represent the same number, when the
    missing digits can have several more or less accurate substitutes with Latin
    letters or symbols.

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