From: Adam Twardoch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon May 07 2007 - 08:04:30 CDT
John Hudson wrote:
> When I say that I think the uppercase eszett is a glyph variant of SS
> I am not talking at all about its appearance, but about what it
> represents in text. I believe it represents the uppercase of ß, and
> the uppercase of ß *is* SS; ergo, the uppercase eszett represents SS.
I don’t agree. The 1996 German spelling reform clarified that "ß" is now
a single letter, not a hybrid between a single letter and a two-letter
ligature (which was the way "ß" was treated since the former German
spelling agreement of 1901).
This is a significant change in the perception of the letter. I strongly
feel that uppercasing "ß" as "SS" is now -- especially under the new
rules -- a temporary anachronism. "ß" is a single CHARACTER (as per
orthographic perception). It has functionally liberated itself from its
historical background (which was a ligature of ſs or ſz).
Today, "ß" is no more a ligature of "ſs" than "ä" is a ligature of "ae".
The transition process from "ae" to "ä" has been completed about 200
years ago, and the transition process between "ſs" to "ß" is happening
now. Encoding the uppercase "ä" as "A ZWJ <sups> E" (or something like
that) would make as little sense as encoding the uppercase "ß" as "S ZWJ
I strongly believe that "SS" is an anachronic, still-in-use but
slowly-to-vanish poor man’s solution to write the uppercase "ß".
-- Adam Twardoch | Language Typography Unicode Fonts OpenType | twardoch.com | silesian.com | fontlab.net
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