Re: Why no combining‐character form for U+00F8?

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2012 09:31:43 -0700

On 8/16/2012 8:55 AM, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> 2012-08-16 18:31, Ian Clifton wrote:
>> Having just been to Norway, and wanting to email my friends all about
>> it, I came across a curiosity: neither of the combining characters
>> U+0337, U+0338 seem to work in usually‐reliable Emacs, and indeed
>> U+00F8 LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH STROKE doesn’t seem to have a
>> decomposed form, according to UnicodeData.txt. I’m sure this can’t be an
>> oversight?
> It isn’t an oversight but an intentional decision.
> The letter “ø” (historically originating from a ligature of “o” and
> “e”) could have been analyzed as consisting of the letter “o” and a
> diacritic mark. Instead, it was coded as an “atomic” character that is
> not decomposable in any way.
> This may sound illogical, as another Scandinavian letter, “ö” (also
> originating from a ligature of “o” and “e”, the latter in small size
> above the “o”) is encoded as canonically decomposable.
> Similarly, the letters “ł” and “đ” were encoded as “atomic.” In a
> sense, it’s just the way it is, but I think I can see the reasoning
> behind this. Although strokes across letters are comparable to
> diacritic marks in a sense, and surely historically, the also differ
> from them in essential ways. They cross over letters instead of just
> sitting above, below, or otherwise near a base letters. perhaps more
> importantly, they differ in placement, width, and angle: compare e.g.
> “ø”, “ł”, and “đ” with each other. If the stroke were defined as a
> diacritic, its identity would be rather vague.
> Yucca
you beat me to it. :)

I like the "rather vague" identity.


PS: Whether letters are used in Scandinavia or not isn't or wasn't a
deciding factor, although I'm sure the relevant national delegations may
well have had minority opinions on that matter.
Received on Thu Aug 16 2012 - 11:35:06 CDT

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