Re: End of story character

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2013 08:29:09 -0800

On 1/25/2013 7:44 AM, Mark E. Shoulson wrote:
> On 01/25/2013 08:12 AM, Joó Ádám wrote:
>> I don’t know of its use outside of Hungary, but here, as the quote of
>> Halmos suggests, the tombstone is traditionally used in print
>> magazines as end of story. We have adopted it to the web on the
>> Weblabor magazine, where it stands at the end of all blog posts, so
>> the reader knows if it worths to open the story on its own, or the
>> excerpt on the front page was the whole story.
>> We had a problem with U+220E END OF PROOF though, as in most fonts it
>> is a rectangle, while in traditional use it is almost always a perfect
>> square. So we decided to use U+25A0 BLACK SQUARE instead, which has
>> its own problem since it really is oversized for this usage, so we had
>> to mark it up and scale it down.
> Most of the times I've seen it, it's actually some form of a logo of
> the magazine in question, or at least a square with the magazine's
> initial(s) in it. Those all seem to be specialized forms of END OF
> PROOF to me. It fits the semantics too; a black block at the end of
> the article. If some magazines use squarer blocks and some more
> rectangular, that's glyph variation.
> A good start at a counterexample might be a math journal that uses
> different-shaped blocks at the ends of its proofs and articles. Still
> might just be different fonts, but it does start to address it at least.
As I point out in another post, the comparison to other conventions
points to things like list bullets. Clearly, almost any character (or
image) can be used as list bullet. There simply is not a universal "list
bullet" character, although "BULLET" is a very common character for that
purpose. It would be a mistake, in my view, to conceptualize the use,
say of a square bullet, as merely a "glyph variant" of such a universal
bullet character.

The correct view, in my opinion, is to see these are different
"spellings" of the same general concept, a concept that is therefore not
directly expressed on the level of character semantics (just as many
other conventions that use characters are not represented directly on
the character level - they merely use characters by some sort of

End of story markers can also be decorative. A boating magazine might
use an anchor or a sailboat silhouette, for example, both representable
by existing characters. As a result, the task should reduce to
identifying whether there are generically usable symbols that are
deployed for end-of-story markers. If these aren't encoded, they could
be. (Make that "should be"), while idiosyncratic symbols should probably
not be encoded - and either represented as PUA codes or directly as
inline images in rich text.

As for representing the "end of story" semantic in a parseable way, that
would be the domain of XML or similar "structural" markup, it would seem
to me. Just because we speak of "character semantics" doesn't mean that
all semantic aspects of a document need to be expressed on that level.

Received on Fri Jan 25 2013 - 10:30:32 CST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Jan 25 2013 - 10:30:33 CST