Re: Characters consisting of vertical lines; Possible attempts to encode tally marks

From: Jon Hanna (
Date: Wed Feb 28 2007 - 08:46:47 CST

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    Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    >> Any opinions? Personally, I prefer attempt a.
    > I prefer option f: don't encode them.

    Agreed (though its option g). I'm not seeing how tallies work in static
    text other than as glyph variants for U+0031 through U+0035

    If there was a need for them I'd consider the suggestions as follows:

    a. Completely bogus. The characters may not look at all like western
    tally marks, are not necessarily vertical lines and have the wrong
    numeric properties (European tallies do not go 10, 20, 30, 40, 5). Why
    put tallies in with counting rods? These are not the same thing.

    U+1D360 through U+1D363 define the related counting rods (though the
    example glyphs are horizontal IIRC).

    b. What? Why? Surely if there is any value in having tallies in there
    it's in their numerical meaning. Unicode encodes characters, not glyphs.
    These characters already mean something, often something mathematical.
    We can't change them to refer to numbers.

    c. If you must.

    d. See objections to a.

    e. If you must. Note that your "con" of "Another character consisting
    simply of a vertical line" is bogus. There are no characters consisting
    simply of a vertical line as that statement is meaningless. There are
    characters whose glyphs always consist of vertical lines and characters
    whose glyphs sometimes consist of vertical lines, but characters != glyphs.

    f. "divide divide divide" does not mean 3.

    Still, I'm with g. Tallies are either a dynamic way to keep a tally and
    as such cannot be meaningfully used in static text, or are used
    stylistically as glyph variants of the numbers 1 through 5 which are
    already encoded at U+0031 through U+0035. Hence we don't need to encode

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