Re: Too narrowly defined: DIVISION SIGN & COLON

From: Leif Halvard Silli <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 03:54:15 +0200

Asmus Freytag, Tue, 10 Jul 2012 15:22:32 -0700:
> Here's my summary of the annotations that we've been discussing so far:

General: I'm OK with the 'preferred' word. I don't think it spreads
'guilt' to say so. E.g. I know that «» and “” are preferred, but I use
" e.g. because I once heard an English screen reader user who did not
get anything good out of «».

> = obelus
> * also used as an alternate, more visually distinct 2212 - MINUS SIGN
> or 2011 – EN DASH in some contexts
> * historically used as a punctuation mark to denote questionable
> passages in manuscripts
> x 070B syriac harklean obelus
> x 2212 minus sign
> x 2052 commercial minus sign
> (the reference to en-dash is based on the Italian usage cited in the
> wikipedia article for Obelus)

I gave more data here:

> The discussion of these symbols in the relevant chapters of the
> standard could also be improved.
> On page 200, the subsection "Other Punctuation" should be augmented
> by this sub-sub-section
> /Obelus/ Originally a punctuation mark to denote questionable
> passages in manuscript, U+00F7 DIVISION SIGN is now most commonly
> used as a symbol indicating division. However, even modern use is not
> limited to that meaning. The character can be found as indicating a
> range (similar to the /en-dash/) or as a form of /minus sign/. The
> latter use is still widespread in Scandinavian countries. (see also
> "Commercial Minus").

I perhaps feel that "widespread" is a little strong. I would qualify it
with a "in some contexts, it is still widespread in Scandinavian

Leif H Silli
Received on Tue Jul 10 2012 - 20:55:18 CDT

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