Re: Upside Down Fu character

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2012 20:34:11 -0800

On 1/8/2012 1:41 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
> I think "if this were encoded, I think people might want to use it" was explicitly not a reason to encode something.


I think you are possibly overstating this slightly.

As often quoted, it's a maxim intended to guard against encoding
characters for which there is no practical need (and which, perhaps,
only the proponent wishes to use as characters, while other users tend
to not use it in text, use graphics, etc.).

In particular, it seems to apply best in situation where it is the
*only* argument made in favor of encoding something.

However, there are many situations, even involving things are clearly
legitimate characters, where the following, almost identical statement
turns out to hold:

"if this were encoded, I think *more* people might want to use it" (or
"will use it")

Restated in this manner, it's just a truism, therefore neither an
argument for or against encoding something.

As presented below the argument appears to actually be something more like:

"if this were encoded, I think people would use it in electronic data,
not just print, handwriting, etc."

On the face of it, the statement isn't that far different from the
earlier lines. However, instead of being a warning against encoding,
it's one of the standard rationales for it: if an entity exists in
traditional forms of text, but not digital data, then the lack of
encoding is a plausible explanation for that fact, and encoding the
character would allow Unicode to cover such textual context.

I have no opinion on the Upside-down FU ideograph as a candidate for
encoding, but I think any analysis of its merits needs to be more
nuanced than what your message seemed to imply.


> --
> Doug Ewell •
> Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andre Schappo<>
> Sender:
> Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2012 12:48:15
> To:<>
> Subject: Re: Upside Down Fu character
> Thank you all for the feedback WRT UPSIDE-DOWN FU 福 and, after consideration and incorporation of your feedback here is my response.
> Foremost in my mind is the end user. The end user should be able to easily select and use a stand alone UPSIDE-DOWN FU with a user oriented mechanism such as character picker. Mechanisms, such as, html/css transformations and variation selectors are in the realm of the developer/techie.
> Currently UPSIDE-DOWN FU may well not appear in plain printed text. I envisage that if UPSIDE-DOWN FU were included in Unicode then the situation would change. Not just in printed text but in electronic text. It would serve to add a new and contemporary dimension to an ancient tradition.
> Conceptually, it could be considered that UPSIDE-DOWN FU is more akin to Emoji rather than akin to a display variant of 福. Decoration becomes an integral part of the character. e.g.
> Colour is also an important component of the character. Apple have done a really good job with their Apple Color Emoji font and I am sure would make a good job of a poster style enclosed UPSIDE-DOWN FU
> So the "Enclosed Ideographic Supplement" seems to be an appropriate Unicode block as UPSIDE-DOWN FU will be enclosed. The actual styling of UPSIDE-DOWN FU 福, colouring and shape of the enclosure would be left to the font foundries.
> André Schappo
Received on Sun Jan 08 2012 - 22:40:58 CST

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