Re: Proposal for German capital letter "ß"

From: Asmus Freytag (t) <>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2015 16:43:40 -0800
On 12/9/2015 3:49 PM, Hans Meiser wrote:
Yes, they do it wrong because (1) they don't know better and (2) they let their software convert lower case text into upper case (a feature nearly every typographic software provides).

Yet, if we let the majority of illiterate people decide what's right and what's wrong we could as easily decide to have 2 + 2 = 5.

Here's an official text of the correct today's rules on how to write a capital "ß" (it's in German):

📔 In Dokumenten kann bei Namen aus Gründen der Eindeutigkeit auch bei Großbuchstaben das ß verwendet werden.

Für den im internationalen Standard-Zeichensatz „Unicode" (ISO/IEC 10646) verzeichneten Großbuchstaben für das ß gibt es derzeit noch keine allgemein verwendete Schriftform. Er ist nicht Gegenstand der amtlichen Rechtschreibregelung.

The last line (bullet), placed somewhat ambiguously, is intended as example to the first paragraph cited here and shows the small ß being used for ALL-CAPS names, because for names one can never predict the original spelling (for words, except in the small number of minimal pairs) it's generally possible for the human reader.

The translation of the second paragraph is:

For the international standard character set "Unicode" (ISO / IEC 10646) registered capitals for the SS, there are currently no commonly used in writing. It is not part of the official spelling rules.
                                                                                                          --- Google Translate


         For capital letter for the sharp s listed in the international standard character set "Unicode" (ISO / IEC 10646)
         there is currently no commonly used written form. It is not subject to the official spelling rules.
                                                                                                                      -- with my edits

So the claim that this contains the "correct today's rule" on the spelling of a capital "ß" is worded misleadingly. The fact is that while there are rules for what to do with a "ß" in the context of ALL-CAPS, there are, in fact no rules for dealing with "a capital 'ß'".

Ironically, Google decides to capitalize the example. Since that "translator" is based on pattern matching, supposedly, one wonders what constituted the input that drove that particular outcome.

Received on Wed Dec 09 2015 - 18:44:33 CST

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