From: Antoine Leca (Antoine10646@leca-marti.org)
Date: Tue Mar 28 2006 - 02:19:49 CST
Doug Ewell wrote:
> Antoine Leca <Antoine10646 at leca dash marti dot org> wrote:
>> Put it in clear: to write the French equivalent of Mrs, I can:
>> - either write the slightly incorrect Mme
>> - or write the more "correct" M (where  represent the empty box
>> that everybody except four cats will effectively see).
>> Somewhere I am thinking this is *not* a working solution.
> So we avoid using rare and -- more importantly -- newly added
> characters, preferring ASCII fallbacks of the sort Unicode was
> intended to replace.
While I agree with your pertinent remark on a general way, in THIS case I
believe this is not adequate. Those two characters (U+1D50 and U+1D49, áµáµ)
do not seem to me to be intended for French abbreviations (or any written
language typographics effects), but rather for phonetics. As a result, it
seems difficult to me to ask French people to have phonetics-specialized
fonts, in order to read something as common as the abbreviation for Mrs,
just because it caught the attention of someone that those characters almost
fit that particular needs.
I can be wrong though.
In fact, while I was too much ironical with my  description, behind the
scene there is a real problem about the use of those characters which have
been added for some specialized purposes, but are reused.
Of course the re-use of the characters for purposes which were not intended
from the beginning, while it could be sometimes seen as incorrect or wrong
by the standardization purists, is a very well known evolution for *every*
character repertoire standardized to date, whether in the digital era or
before (I mean, since men invent Writing.)
However, sometimes the out-of-intent uses are less adequate; in general,
those unfortunate uses are fading away quickly, probably since they do not
get a catch; having interoperability problems just limit their uses, of
In that way, your remark above is somewhat limited: all those new (sparkled)
characters primarily come into use when they are readilly available for the
purpose they are introduced first; it is only on a second stance, when the
necessary infrastructure is in place, that they can be used for different,
perhaps incorrect uses. One of my prefered is the French use of Â° to mark
the abbreviation of a final o (as in 1Âº, 2Âº), and the Spanish use of Âº to
mark degree; both characters are in T.61 and derivates, including 8859-1; of
course, it's the presence of the characters in the keyboard layouts which is
the root; counter example, or examples of the reverse, are ASCII - and ',
whose covers several meanings.
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