Fwd: U+25CA LOZENGE - why is it in the "Mac OS Roman" character set (and therefore widespread in current fonts)?

From: Robert Wheelock <rwhlk142_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 01:03:21 -0400

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Karl Pentzlin <karl-pentzlin_at_acssoft.de>
Date: Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: U+25CA LOZENGE - why is it in the "Mac OS Roman" character set
(and therefore widespread in current fonts)?
To: Robert Wheelock <rwhlk142_at_gmail.com>

Dear Robert,
you have sent the mail below to my private address but I presume that
it was intended for the Unicode list.
Please resend it to unicode_at_unicode.org. I will answer you there, as I
in fact was engaged in that subject before.

Best wishes

Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 10:14:21 PM, you wrote:
RW> On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 6:48 AM, Karl Pentzlin <karl-pentzlin_at_acssoft.de
RW> Am Montag, 13. August 2012 um 20:53 schrieb Hans Aberg:
HA>> The German WP mentions that in the context of the now
HA>> discontinued Bildschirmtext, it was called "Raute":
 HA>>   https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppelkreuz_(Satzzeichen)
HA>>   https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bildschirmtext
HA>> But otherwise, "Raute" is the same as English "lozenge":
HA>>   https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raute_(Symbol)
RW> In fact, I have heavily edited these Wikipedia articles in the last
RW> Before, they show a mess of "Doppelkreuz", "Raute", and "Nummernzeichen"
RW>  When I started my current work on a keyboard related paper (which is
RW> the first time that I have to write for the general public, rather
RW> than for colleagues in the standardizing business), I started with
RW>  a scheme:
RW>  "Doppelkreuz" (literally: double cross) is the usual name for "#"
RW>     as a character.
RW>  "Raute" is:
RW>     a. lozenge
RW>      b. the viewdata square in the now discontinued Bildschirmtext
RW>        (which roughly corresponds to Viewdata, Videotex or Prestel
RW>         in other countries.)
RW>  "Nummernzeichen" (literally: number sign) is a collective term for
RW>      "#" and the "Numero-Zeichen" № U+2116 NUMERO SIGN, as using it
RW>     specifically for "#" would cause confusion, as the "#" never was
RW>     used for marking numbers except on desktop calculators, and the
RW>      name in fact was used for the NUMERO SIGN also.
RW> Then, I extended and edited the Wikipedia articles according to this
RW> scheme.
RW> Now, after discussing this with several people, I learned that this
RW>  scheme was too academic, as in fact everybody seems to call the "#"
RW> "Raute". The word "Raute" otherwise is unused in colloquial German.
RW> You learn in math lessons that there is a geometric form called
RW>  "Rhombus" (lozenge) which also can be called "Raute", but in the class
RW> "Rhombus" is the preferred term. "Raute" also is the preferred term in
RW> heraldics, but used by the general public only when referring to the
RW>  pattern of the Bavarian flag. (Besides, "Raute" is used in the name
RW> of some herbs, like Ruta graveolens, but also only by specialists.)
RW> The lozenge usually is called "Karo" in colloquial language (like the
RW>  diamond suit on playing cards), and only "Rhombus" when it deviates
RW> too much from a square standing on its corner.
RW> Thus, when the "#" came as a new character to the general public
RW>  with the keypad telephone in the 1970s, together with a name "Raute"
RW> which sounds not unknown and not really wrong, thus it got its way
RW> into the general public together with the "#" (which, as said, was
RW>  formerly not used in Germany).
RW> "Raute" is e.g. used by customer services which you call when you have
RW> a question regarding your mobile phone, and you are told to press the
RW>  lower right key on your telephone keypad.
RW> On the other hand, as far as I know now (and a DIN officer confirmed
RW> me this), there is no German standard which uses the term "Raute".
RW> Thus, I probably will use the term "Doppelkreuz" but have to remark
RW> that I address the character commonly called "Raute". As the
RW> discussion so far showed no evidence for any relevant general public
RW>  use for the lozenge besides the subtotal on desktop calculators,
RW> I fortunately do not have to address this in depth.
RW> Thanks to all participants so far.
RW> - Karl
RW> —Reply—
RW> The old Dutch florin/guilder sign should be DISUNIFIED from
RW> U+0192, the <f> with the leftwards-downsweeping tail used by the
RW> IAI (International African Institute) for the voiceless bilabial
RW> fricative, IPA /ɸ/.  I've moved the florin/guilder over to the
RW> Private Use Zone—at codepoint U+E511—in my ISRI Series Fonts
RW> Robert Lloyd Wheelock
RW> International Symbolism Research Institute
RW> Augusta, ME  U.S.A.
Received on Wed Aug 15 2012 - 00:10:12 CDT

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