Re: Unicode 6.2 to Support the Turkish Lira Sign

From: Szelp, A. Sz. <>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 08:16:04 +0200

Andreas, Asmus, let me have my two coins as well...

> > > The Turks did not present “a new symbol”. They presented a new design
> > > for an existing symbol (₤) which stands in for an existing currency.
> > A new design makes it a new symbol. Especially a radical new design.
> What makes a symbol a symbol?
> If I design a new door handle, is this going to get a new rubrication in household supplier’s catalogues? Or is it still just: a door handle.
> And how would you define or measure the radicalism of the design in question?
> I can’t see any ‘radical new design’.

So far I see the parallel between the "new radical symbol" and the
encoded lira sign (₤) to be the same relation as the one between the
"new (official, prescriptive) Euro symbol" [1] (the geometric one,
which, though supposed to be prescriptive, *no-one* uses) and the
actual incarnations of the Euro symbol (€) in different font faces
matching their design (usually their C).

Now, I truly concur with Andreas that as such, the new code position
is _not_ warranted. Of course, if the sign does get encoded, we won't
be able to prove ourselves, as encoding this design fallacy (thank god
in the case of the Euro common sense and a sense of aesthetics won
over burocratic shortsightedness) is on the other hand a
self-fulfillying prophecy. If you will have a U+20A4 LIRA SIGN _and_ a
U+20BA TURKISH LIRA SIGN, designers _will_have_to_ make a visual
distinction between them, forcing them to take on the poor design
"official" design, not allowing them to interpret creatively the sign
like they did with the Euro to make it more visually pleasing. I'm
wondering how often we'll see (before the encoding happens! [2]) the
"new" lira sign to surface as ₤, £ or Ł or Ƚ in handwritten "naive"
typography after the fuss about the new sign settles in 1–2 months.

So I really think that the current situation is as this:
   The Turkish government has presented an "official" Turkish lira
sign (alike the "official" Euro construction). This is probably going
to be printed on banknotes, as it is official. This is fine. So does
the ENB. However, the sign is in fact just a particular identity, used
for official, engraving and minting purposes of ₤, as which it should
be used in text.
Transcribing the particular design of "[anchor-lira] 100" of a
hypothetical future banknote in plaintext as "₤ 100" is equally valid
as transcribing the "[official-geometric-euro-design] 10" of the Euro
banknotes as "€ 10".

Of course, if you buy "too quickly and too cheap", as Andreas put it,
and encode the new glyph variant of the Lira sign which happens to be
the one preferred for future Turkish banknotes and coins, you open up
Pandora's box by forcing a need for distinction, where there is — as
per status-quo — none. You have been warned :-)

My two cents...

[2] of course, once the sign is encoded, it will be used in print and
that will influence handwritten usage. Well, the self-fulfilling
prophecy sets in.
Received on Wed May 23 2012 - 01:21:54 CDT

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