U+00BA and U+00AA (was: "Re: Public Review Issue Unicode Technical Report #25, "Unicode Support for Mathematics"")

From: António Martins-Tuválkin (tuvalkin@gmail.com)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2007 - 08:39:22 CST

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    On 2007.01.12, 15:01, Doug Ewell <dewell@adelphia.net> quoted and wrote:

    >> ª is not a and º is not o. Similarly I and i are encoded separately
    >> from J and j and U and u separate from V and v.
    > Actually, it's not unheard of in Spanish to type plain "o" and "a"
    > instead of the typographical preferable ordinal marks.

    Ditto for Portuguese. Indeed "ª" and "º" are nothing but superscripts, made
    available in typing machines and computers for their relative abundance
    but no way unlike any other subscript. Very frequent "Excelentíssimo" is
    abbreviated when possible as "Ex.<sup>m</sup>º" (or "Ex.<sup>mo</sup>"),
    but in plain text the illogical "Ex.mº" is mandatory. (No, not many people
    knows about U+1D50…)

    > relevant ordinal words really do end in "o" and "a" (except "primer" and
    > "tercer") they provide a direct pronunciation clue,

    In Portuguese all ordinals fit: "primeiro" = "1º", "primeira" = "1ª",
    "terceiro" = "3º", "terceira" = "3ª", etc.

    However, I'd like to point out that in Portuguese use U+00BA and
    U+00AA are used mostely for abbreviation endings (like "Sr.ª" =
    "Senhora"), not especially for ordinals. Indeed "ª" can be used to
    abbreviate one of those odd wrds that end in "a" but are either
    gender-ambivalent ("vítima" = "vít.ª") or even masculine ("problema" =
    "prob.ª"); the opposite, "º" used in the abreviation of an "o"-ending
    feminine word is very rare but fully acceptable ("Vrg.º" for "virago",
    or "MªJº" for often female given name "Maria João"). This makes the
    Unicode names (with "masculine" and "feminine" on them) incorrect.

    > This isn't quite the same as I vs. J.

    Surely not.

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