RE: Representative glyphs for combining kannada signs

From: Keutgen, Walter (
Date: Wed Mar 29 2006 - 06:47:46 CST

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    Antoine, Kent,


    I do know nothing about Indic scripts, but I would put some clarifications as native German speaker to avoid that you draw wrong conclusions and extend them to other languages.

    The dieresis – as Kent surely knows as being in Sweden – is used in German, Swedish and Hungarian for changing the sound of the vowels a, o and u. (only German applying to all 3). In modern German printing (antiqua) it is always represented by 2 dots, in old fraktur there may have been the 2 stroke variant, I do not remember. By script you mean handwriting like font, I suppose. In handwriting there are from time to time fashions and some of my fellow pupils in the sixties tended to write two strokes in Latin style hand writing. Was this is easier than two dots?. In Süterlin hand writing – no longer used since Second World War – I believe two strokes were also current. One may hence design a script font where instead of the dots there are strokes, as an aesthetic variant. *** But in no case mix of the two in a German text in the same font is acceptable ***. The (patient :-)) reader would sit around guessing what is the difference. Kent could perhaps explain how this is in Swedish.

    In Hungarian the double strokes are in fact the semantic combination of the dieresis and the emphasis (single acute accent) i.e. a way of changing the sound of a vowel and putting the stress on it. For Hungarian there is hence the need to duplicate the code points.

    Note that the dieresis is used in Dutch and Roman languages also. There it is put on the last of a vowel sequence to indicate that it must be pronounced separately from the preceding ones e.g. French 'Noël' (Christmas), 'aiguë' (feminine of sharp), Dutch 'Daniël' (first name). In some Belgian family names 'ë' is used to make the preceding vowel a long one in pronunciation. I have never seen a two stroke variant of the dieresis in French.


    For me:

    m² means

    a) 'square meter' (this I learned in the primary school)
    b) 'm risen to the power of two' (this I learned in the secondary school).

    m2 is

    a) a fallback for m² because my Swiss keyboard and perhaps many others do not have the Latin-1 character U+00B2.
    b) a possible name for a product, an administration etc.
    c) an identifier in a programming language.

    Best regards


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    -----Original Message-----
    From: [] On Behalf Of Antoine Leca
    Sent: Mittwoch, den 29. März 2006 10:26
    Subject: Re: Representative glyphs for combining kannada signs

    On Tuesday, March 28, 2006 21:59Z, Kent Karlsson wrote:

    > Antoine Leca wrote:
    >>> Yes, and they already are. U+0308 COMBINING DIAERESIS vs. U+030B
    >>> COMBINING DOUBLE ACUTE. There is no "umlaut" character...
    >> I did use Umlaut to clearly (at least I thought) denote the
    >> characteristic German *feature*, NOT the codepoints.
    > For typeset modern German text DIEARESIS is consistently used (though
    > most often via precomposed letters).

    So, does it mean I am allowed to have/design a font that draws diaeresis as
    two strokes (not dots), for example to give some script-style look? Or am I

    And if I am, am I furthermore allowed to have some option which allows me to
    select, at *presentation* level, the stroke vs the dots, for the same
    underlying ä?

    Finally, if I am also allowed that, how is it different for the position of
    the I matra in the rendering of Nagari conjunct NG.K.I ङ्कि?

    >>> And m² is not at all the same as m2.
    >> I guess no, although I am not completely sure (particularly
    >> since I expect
    >> the second to read "m<SUP>2</SUP>" instead,
    > No. While that is an good approach in the general case (for arbitrary
    > power-to *math* expression), I think it is a bad idea for the SI unit
    > powers.

    "No" what? No to the idea to make the 2 a superscript in m2?

    Or "no" to "I am not completely", in other words, you know that I am sure?

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