Re: Greek characters in IPA usage

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Aug 20 2009 - 09:33:18 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Greek characters in IPA usage"

    On 19 Aug 2009, at 10:47, Julian Bradfield wrote:

    > I don't want a new feature. I want a bug fixed.
    >> Unicode, especially when that feature is largely cosmetic.
    > If you've followed this discussion at all, you should appreciate
    > that the argument is not cosmetic.

    Part of the discussion is "cosmetic"; Andreas' clients want IPA beta
    and Greek beta and don't want them to be the same. This goes back to
    the original intention of the IPAssociation to distinguish IPA
    characters from Greek by harmonizing them with Latin types. The fact
    that nearly all of the IPA letters borrowed from Greek *were*
    disunified suggests only that the ones that were not were not because
    of a mistake, and they ought to have been disunified, and they ought
    now to be disunified.

    > Ignoring Michael's fetish for setting books using only one font,
    > typography is not an argument for plain text.

    Now, now, Julian. I have no "fetish", and I am quite happy to use
    different fonts for perfectly reasonable reasons, and I use different
    fonts for many purposes. In my lovely Middle English dictionary,
    however, I was using Baskerville. Of course nearly all of the text is
    in English or Middle English, using ȝ and þ and ð. But there are a
    few words in Cyrillic and many words in Greek in the text, in addition
    to Gothic ƕ and some accented letters. Baskerville Greek and Cyrillic
    faces exist; naturally I should wish to use them.

    If I were typesetting a dictionary of Spanish, for instance, which had
    IPA pronunciation and etymologies (not at all an unusual proposition),
    and I chose Baskerville, would it not be reasonable for me not to want
    to have to seek a different font just for the IPA and Greek betas? I
    don't think that's fetishism. The letters borrowed into Latin became

    > The argument is that IPA and Greek letters are *logically separate*
    > letters, and should therefore be encoded separately, for the sake of
    > data processing on them.

    Functionally separate too. Sorting multilingual data, for example. The
    arguments are all the same as for Kurdish Q and W, or for Latin small
    letter delta.

    Michael Everson *

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