Re: U+00B0 vs. U+00BA (was: "Re: How to encode abbreviations")

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Mon Apr 03 2006 - 04:47:18 CST

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    On Mon, 3 Apr 2006, Antoine Leca wrote:

    > And I guess you might have a similar negociation with the Spanish
    > subsidiaries, this time with the native arguing that you MUST use U+00BA
    > U+0043 for Celsius measures (I know the international symbol is plain C), or
    > U+00BA (along with U+0027/U+0022, /of course/) for angle measures, etc.

    This is getting rather confusing and probably not very useful, but I think
    it needs to be remarked that the international symbol for degrees Celsius
    is C (degree sign followed by the letter C), whereas plain C stands for
    the coulomb. The symbols for minutes and seconds in angle measures
    are the prime and the double prime, U+2032 and U+2033, which are symbols
    that have traditionally been used in printed matter long before
    typewriters introduced the "straight" quotation mark and apostrophe that
    we know know as the Ascii characters U+0027 and U+0022.

    As regards to confusing the degree sign and the masculine ordinal
    indicator, and the latter with superscript "o" in general, I'm afraid
    there's little we can say except that the Unicode standard defines the
    meanings of characters up to a point (partly rather implicitly), and
    there are varying opinions on what it means to use them in a manner that
    is not consistent with those meanings. In some situations, though, the
    risks are rather obvious: if you use, say, the masculine ordinal indicator
    in place of the degree sign, then your text is vulnerable when the font is
    changed. It may look almost right in one font, but in another font, it may
    become clearly an "o" letter that is not a circle at all and perhaps even
    has an underline.

    Jukka "Yucca" Korpela,

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