From: Martin J. Dürst (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Aug 25 2009 - 22:55:05 CDT
On 2009/08/20 19:09, Julian Bradfield wrote:
> But simple editing (e.g. search and replace) is an example.
> It's true that I'm unlikely to use Greek beta and IPA beta in the same
> paper, because I don't work on Greek. However, I do deal with
> formalizations of phonological theories. In describing grammatical
> re-writing rules, it is conventional (among mathematicians and
> computer scientists) to use (mathematical) Greek letters to stand for
> strings of "letters" from the grammatical alphabet. If I'm giving a
> phonological re-writing rule, how am I to distinguish the string
> variable β from the phoneme symbol IPA beta?
> Of course, it can be done by markup -
Yes indeed. In HTML, you have <var> for this purpose. I use it a lot (in
general for variables, not restricted to re-writing rules) because it
easily makes sure the semantics are right and the presentation is italic.
> but Unicode has gone to all the
> trouble of encoding several maths alphabets, because font distinctions
> are significant, and Unicode (don't ask me why) thinks people should
> be able to write maths in plain text.
That part of Unicode was (and is) highly disputed and criticized.
> This is another case where what looks like a font distinction is a
> semantically significant distinction, and should be encoded.
Not exactly, because contrary to the Math case, it's not a distinction
within a single writing systemm.
-- #-# Martin J. Dürst, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University #-# http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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