Re: Upside Down Fu character

From: Doug Ewell <>
Date: Mon, 09 Jan 2012 10:29:14 -0700

Asmus Freytag <asmusf at ix dot netcom dot com> 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.

That's what I meant. Sorry if this wasn't clear. If there are other
justifications for encoding a character, certainly they might override
this maxim. I haven't seen any other rationale for encoding inverted-Fu
*as a plain-text character*.

Andre wrote:

"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

This is the kind of speculative rationale that I thought would strongly
lean the committees toward "no," unless a better rationale is given.
The evidence seemed to be that inverted-Fu is used only in a decorative,
"image-like" way, not even in traditional printed or handwritten text
(which are not dependent on character encoding standards) as a

"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.

Emoji were encoded because they existed in mobile phone text-messaging
systems, and people used them as if they were text, and there was a
perceived need to interchange messages containing them. If there are
any examples of similar usage for inverted-Fu, that might make a

"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."

Again, this sounds to me like a strong indication that usage of the
character is as an image, not as an element of plain text.

A realistic (non-contrived) example of inverted-Fu used in inline text
would be helpful here.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | | @DougEwell ­
Received on Mon Jan 09 2012 - 11:36:30 CST

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