No appropriate code point for some Chinese punctuation marks

From: Gary Kilfear <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2012 22:08:49 +0800

As a matter of fact, the situation of Chinese punctuation marks is a
mess. Until now we do not have independant symbols for Chinese dashes,
ellipsis, interpunct in Unicode.

In practice, we use three kinds of dashes in Chinese: one is halfwidth,
corresponding to the Latin hyphen symbol; one is one-character-width,
corresponding to the Latin en dash symbol; one is two-character-width,
corresponding to the Latin em dash. The Chinese now always treat
U+2013(en dash) or U+002D(hyphen-minus) as the halfwidth dash, and
assign U+2014(em dash) as their one-character-width dash, and for the
two-character-width dash, they just enter two em dashes. However, it
is just a compromise, since these dashes and hyphen were always
designed for Latin characters typesetting, the horizontal line does
not sit in the middle height of a Hanzi character. And for some
typefaces, two continual em dashes come out a long horizontal line but
a break in the middle, which is not consistent with the appearance of
a two-character-width dash.

Chinese don't have a two-character-width ellipsis(six dots)
either. Actually, we can generate a two-character-width ellipsis with
two continual one-character-ellipsis(three dots) which is well
designed for the position of each dot. But now Chinese use a ugly
hack—they just type two continual '…'(HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS,
U+2026). As the case of dashes, the dots do not lie in the middle
height of a Hanzi character. Some people will choose the mathematical
operator '⋯'(MIDLINE HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS, U+22EF) as a substitute, but
a lot of Chinese fonts don't support such a symbol, and most of all,
it is a mathematical operator, not punctuation mark!!

For interpunct, we need a solid dot which sits in both vertical and
horizontal center of the character box. Actually the Katakana
symbol '・'(KATAKANA MIDDLE DOT, U+30FB) is a good implement for
Chinese interpunct, but as the name reveals, it is just a Katakana
symbol, not a common punctuation mark for East Asian characters.

So should we submit a proposal for these Chinese punctuation?
Received on Sun Jul 22 2012 - 10:45:12 CDT

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