Re: Upside Down Fu character

From: Ken Whistler <>
Date: Mon, 09 Jan 2012 13:59:15 -0800

On 1/9/2012 12:23 PM, Asmus Freytag wrote:
> So, my question remains, are there any other avenues besides
> hot-metal printed text

I assume that was an exaggeration for rhetorical effect -- since hot-metal
printing technology went out half a century ago, replaced first by
phototypesetting and then digital typesetting and other techniques.

And since people can still put whatever squirrelly whatchamacallit they want
into a font, and then use digital typesetting to produce beautifully
editions of said whatchamacallits, inline in text if so desired,
printing doesn't
seem to be the real barrier here. That includes, of course, online textual
editions, so neither is the real issue whether or not the text can be
represented online.

> and compatibility encodings to demonstrate
> that a character (not this example, but in general) is a viable
> candidate?

Failing to have a Unicode encoding for a candidate whatchamacallit is
primarily a barrier for digital *interchange* of text content as plain text,
which also means use of said content in database contexts, text
messaging, etc.

However, folks who wish to print and publish textual material have plenty
of technical means at their disposal, and should be able to make the case
for use of a candidate character, symbol, or whole script without too
much trouble, IMO.

The arguments -- as in this case -- seem to result rather from people
some interesting "thing" which isn't encoded as a Unicode character and
then making a case by pointing at pictures of said "thing", without spending
the time making the case for the texthood (as opposed to picturehood) of
the thing.

As Van and others have pointed out in this case, "upside down fu" (fu2
is not a character -- it is a venerable visual pun (for "good fortune
has arrived" and
"{good fortune character} inverted"). It isn't used in regular text, and
technology then (or now) is not the constraining factor. CSS
difficulties for
inverting text in HTML aside, one could have turned fu upside down just as
easily with woodblock printing technology as with digital typesetting.

Received on Mon Jan 09 2012 - 16:03:48 CST

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