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

From: Jukka K. Korpela (jkorpela@cs.tut.fi)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2007 - 15:33:54 CST

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    On Thu, 25 Jan 2007, Antnio Martins-Tuvlkin wrote:

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

    Is that official Portuguese orthography? The code chart in the Unicode
    standard has just the note "Spanish" attached to the feminine and
    masculine ordinal indicators. Of course the notes are not meant to
    describe the use of a character comprehensively, but I'm a bit surprised
    at the omission of Portuguese.

    The identity of U+00BA and U+00AA is somewhat vague. Their names suggest
    very specific usage. If they are meant for more general use, I think notes
    about this should be added, perhaps to the code chart, perhaps to the list
    of misleading character names. If, on the other hand, their intended usage
    is limited as suggested by their names, I think this should be mentioned
    too, in the standard. I don't mean that such notes would stop people from
    using them as general-purpose "superscript a" and "superscript o", but the
    notes would guide people who wish to use characters in the most correct
    way.

    Using U+00BA and U+00AA in a general meaning might conflict with the fact
    that in several fonts, there is an underline below the letter "a" or "o".
    Although these characters are compatibility equivalent to <super> a and
    <super> o, their rendering may be idiosyncratic, reflecting their specific
    purpose.

    -- 
    Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    


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