Re: Why blackletter letters?

From: Michael Everson <>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 21:13:54 +0100

On 11 Sep 2013, at 19:32, Asmus Freytag <> wrote:

> On 9/10/2013 12:09 PM, Michael Everson wrote:
>> On 10 Sep 2013, at 20:04, Asmus Freytag <> wrote:
>>> The proper thing would be to deprecate these accidental duplications forthwith.
>> Nonsense. And blackletter isn't identical to Fraktur.
> It is not different enough to base a character encoding distinction on it. Why don't we code "times" and "garamond" shapes then as characters as well.

"The Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols block contains a large extension of letterlike symbols used in Mathematical notation, typically for variables. The characters in this block are intended for use only in mathematical or technical notation, and not in nontechnical text."

When these were encoded, we put them in the SMP to help na´ve users to avoid using them for text. You know. For words and names and paragraphs. Text.

I do not believe that "mathematical or technical notation" includes phonetic transcription, because phonetic transcription is an orthography expressing words. You can argue that it is "technical", but that was not the intent behind the encoding of the Mathematical characters, and I won't buy the argument that it was.

>> The proper thing to do is to use the new letters for the linguistic functions for which they were encoded, and to leave the math letters alone for the mathematicians and their complicated fonts.
> This will inevitably end up with mathematical and linguistic documents mis-coded, because people will select a shape from a drop down, and not the character code (like you - being a character code maven - might do).

Germanicist linguists will not go to the Mathematical Alphabets for their characters if their characters are encoded in the same block as the rest of the Teuthonista characters.

Mathematicians will use the software interfaces provided for them, and will never see the Teuthonista characters.

The Teuthonista characters were correctly encoded, and correctly disunified from the mathematical alphabets.

Enough doom and gloom from you!

Michael Everson *
Received on Wed Sep 11 2013 - 15:15:40 CDT

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