Re: Encoding the fish symbol

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Sep 29 2007 - 18:15:51 CDT

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    John Hudson <john at tiro dot ca> wrote:

    > There are a lot of things that occur in the context of text, but which
    > are not necessarily text themselves, and my criterion -- which I
    > realise might not be the UTC's criterion -- is to consider whether
    > there is a need to do things with such entities such as one does with
    > text entities. If, for example, the fish symbol, like the staurogram,
    > did appear in early Christian documents, then I think there is a good
    > case for encoding it based on the kind of work that is done with the
    > transcription and analysis of such documents. It would, for instance,
    > be helpful to be able to seach a corpus of texts for occurrences of
    > the symbol, and this would be greatly facilitated by its encoding.

    If this symbol is encoded, it will probably see much more common use in
    quarter-page advertisements in the Yellow Pages for plumbers and
    attorneys and auto mechanics, ostensibly to communicate to prospective
    customers that the business is "Christian" and thus implicitly more
    competent or honest than businesses not displaying the symbol.

    That said, the Christian-specific fish symbol is probably a great deal
    more deserving of encoding in a plain-text character encoding standard
    than nine different cat faces, or separate blue, green, yellow, and
    purple heart symbols, or ten arbitrarily selected national flags, or....

    Doug Ewell * Fullerton, California, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14

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