From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 16:18:45 CST
On 5/4/2007 1:29 PM, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
> Marnen Laibow-Koser responded:
>> On May 4, 2007, at 2:53 PM, John Hudson wrote:
>>> Marnen Laibow-Koser wrote:
>>>> No argument there. There *shouldn't* be such a thing as capital
>>>> ß. But Unicode is descriptive and not prescriptive. Obviously,
>>>> people are using this misbegotten character, so it needs to have a
>>>> code point.
>>> Or are they using this misbegotten glyph variant, in which case it
>>> needs to have appropriate glyph level activation?
>>> It seems to me to be begging the question to assume that it is a
>> It is a character, I think. To assume that it is an uppercase SS
>> ligature is to assume that an uppercase long S exists
> Actually, not at all. I think that is missing the point John is
> trying to make.
>> -- and we have
>> absolutely *no* evidence for that at all.
> Of course.
>> So I think it's begging
>> the question to assume that it is a ligature. Uppercase ß is
>> attested, if grudgingly so. Uppercase long s is not attested at all!
> First of all, take all this as stipulated:
> 4. Lowercase ß is graphologically derived from the ligation
> of long s and z. (And also has at least two distinct
> shape traditions, one of which is known as the "3" shape.)
Actually the ligature is of long s and s. The other derivation is
(The upper bowl of the ß is formed by the connector and the top of the
'z' would have a descender.) Finally, in Fraktur, any word-final 'ss'
been rendered with long s, followed by s.
> 5. Despite the graphological origin, in modern German,
> the lowercase ß is equivalent (for some contexts) to
> a <s, s> sequence, and not to a <long-s, z> sequence.
Not despite, but, because of.
> O.k., if we can stipulate all that, then we don't have to
> argue it all, point-by-point ad naseum. (Of course, if I'm
> wrong about any of that, argue away. ;-) )
Needed to be corrected, but doesn't affect your argument. Now, to the
> Now, given all that, what we have left is not arguing the
> *existence* of uppercase ß, but rather the "Is it live, or
> is it Memorex?" question:
> Is uppercase ß handled better in text processing as a
> *glyph*, without needing a distinct character encoding,
> or is it handled better in text processing as a
> distinctly encoded character (which also would have a
> representative glyph associated with it, of course)?
> If you take the first position, as John Hudson has been
> arguing, then the next question would be: "What is the
> glyph for uppercase ß a visual representation of?"
> And given all the evidence in the proposal, it is pretty
> clear that the answer is: <S, S>, i.e., a sequence of
> two uppercase S's.
> So that would lead to the suggestion (not stipulation, at this
> 6. In modern German, the uppercase ß is equivalent (for
> some contexts) to an <S, S> sequence, and not to a
> <long-s, Z> sequence or anything else.
This, however, misses the whole point. If people wanted to write SS they
have done so. Instead, they wanted to preserve a distinction *in
first using ß and then (for aesthetic reasons) a more uppercase-like
form of it.
The sharp-s is not a presentation variant of 'ss', and the minority
German orthography is based on precisely that point.
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