Re: Is there a Japanese character for the word Unicode? (from Re: Unicode Haiku Contest)

From: John H. Jenkins (
Date: Tue Dec 22 2009 - 15:09:14 CST

  • Next message: Charlie Ruland ☘: "Re: Is there a Japanese character for the word Unicode? (from Re: Unicode Haiku Contest)"

    On Dec 22, 2009, at 12:54 PM, Charlie Ruland ☘ wrote:

    > Thomas Chan wrote:
    >> Hi,
    >> I would suggest U+26100
    >> (
    > Please consider that this character is only usable in traditional Chinese. Users of simplified Chinese might want an additional hànzì to be added to Unicode: the simplified equivalent, composed of 纟 (simplified ‘silk’ radical, on the left) and 马 (simplified ‘horse’, on the right).

    At this point, the IRG would not entertain the suggestion of adding a new simplified form without evidence of actual use. Adding it because people would like to be able to use it simply will not fly.

    In any event, I'm not sure what practical advantage there would be to having a single sinogram meaning "Unicode." The only thing I can think of would be a use analogous to the use of 普 and 粵 in some dictionaries to mark Mandarin and Cantonese readings, respectively, but not only can I not think of any situation where that would convey anything that "U+" doesn't, the typical way to handle this situation would be to use 統.

    From the Chinese perspective, this is equivalent to asking that a monosyllabic *word* that means "Unicode." As Ken Whistler points out, the usual way to coin a modern Chinese word would be to use a compound. If one wanted to use "Unicode" itself in a compound (say for "Unihan"), the standard way would be to use the first part of "Unicode" in the compound (thus, Wikipedia uses 統漢字 for "Unihan").

    It really is rather unnatural for modern Chinese to make up a new monosyllabic word for a novel concept, whether or not an existing character is used for that new word. Basically this is a solution in search of a problem.

    But if people really want to encourage this, I will defend to the death their right to attempt it. I think it's a rather long shot that it would ever catch on. If people want the *Consortium* to adopt this sort of usage, it would be a matter for the Consortium's officers. I rather doubt they would be amenable to the suggestion. I don't think that the editors of the Unihan database would go for it, either.

    John H. Jenkins

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Dec 22 2009 - 15:11:14 CST