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

From: Charlie Ruland ☘ (
Date: Tue Dec 22 2009 - 16:45:23 CST

  • Next message: John H. Jenkins: "Re: Is there a Japanese character for the word Unicode? (from Re: Unicode Haiku Contest)"

    John H. Jenkins wrote:
    > 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.
    As I wrote in one of yesterday’s posts:

    “In fact there are already so many characters that making up new ones is
    quite unnecessary. If one day the need for a ‘new’ character emerges
    (eg, to signify a ‘new’ chemical element) I’m all in favour of a
    borrowed character (假借字) — see my last post for an example. Frankly I
    don’t believe that any one-character writing for Unicode has the chance
    of becoming popular.”
    > In any event, I'm not sure what practical advantage there would be to having a single sinogram meaning "Unicode."
    Well, what’s the practical advantage of making up con-scripts? Probably
    play as a gratifying way to discover how the world works.
    > 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").
    Again, as I wrote in one of yesterday’s posts:

    “This is why there will NEVER be a single character for Unicode in
    Mandarin, because it would require to be pronounced as one syllable, but
    there are already far too many homophonic characters in the language.”
    > 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.
    Right. But it’s a good thing to play and learn to solve problems before
    they’re there :-)

    I don’t think anyone taking part in this thread (with the possible
    exception of William J G) wants to add a newly invented sinogram to
    Unicode. Not even as a something like a ‘partial con-script’ to
    Michael’s and John’s ConScript Unicode Registry.

    Thank you John for your attention,
    > 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

    Charlie • 查理 • चार्ली • Чарли • تشارلي
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