Re: missing symbol?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat Feb 10 2007 - 13:44:05 CST

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    Did you look for "Counting rods"? This is a wellknown system and certainly the most ancient system of digits. This system later gave the Pheonician numeric system, the old Greek numeric system and the Roman system, before the adoption of positional notation with distinct forms for digits.

    Note that combining long solidus overlay is not meant to overlay more than the previous base character! If you want to strike over several vertical bars, those bars would need to be encoded as a single base character (or digit).

    Note that in counting rods numeric systems, there's no standard for the number of rods that must be striked out: it could be 4, or 5 or 10; the strike may be oblique (solidus) or horizontal. The rods may be disposed in other ways (for example in a square), the direction of the oblique is not defined. This all depends on local usage and authors, and it is basically independant of his own language and the writing system he uses for that language.

    In fact, if you saerch a little more, you'll find that there are lots of geometric figures used for counting with rods, and lots of way to group "digits". And rods are not the single system. You'll find also rocks, seeds (cricles and dots), positions of fingers and hands, paper folding, knots in a cord, rotating wheels, arrows, chart circles, filled bottles, cuts on the border of wooden rule, and many more, all of them being drawable as well on paper as symbols!

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "William J Poser" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2007 2:58 AM
    Subject: missing symbol?

    > I hope this isn't too trivial a question for this
    > list, but is there an encoding for the tally number
    > five? I don't even know a proper name for it. What
    > I mean is this. When counting things off, one sometimes
    > draws a vertical stroke for the first one, another vertical
    > stroke for the second one, etc., like this:
    > |
    > ||
    > |||
    > ||||
    > When one comes to five, instead of adding another vertical
    > stroke, one crosses the four vertical strokes from
    > upper right to lower left. One can approximate this
    > with |||| U+0338 "Combining long solidus overlay", but
    > it doesn't render very well. It isn't long enough and
    > doesn't cross the first vertical. I've looked through
    > the various symbol lists and combining characters but don't
    > find either another combining character or a single codepoint
    > for this symbol.

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