From: Doug Ewell (dewell@adelphia.net)
Date: Tue Mar 23 2004 - 01:15:17 EST

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    Recently I found an unexpected "Unicode moment" buried in the
    documentation for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. This was written by
    Bobby Schmidt in 2000.

    > The name "C sharp" is really spelled as shown in my column's banner
    > graphic: The capital letter C followed by a musical sharp sign.
    > Because this sign does not exist in ASCII, most of us approximate the
    > name as C#. This approximation leads to witty derivatives such as "C
    > hash," "C pound," and the tortuous "C octothorpe"—all based on a
    > convenient but incorrect typography. My personal favorite is "D flat,"
    > which has the twin virtues of cleverness and correctness, but would
    > actually require equally un-ASCII typography.

    The "musical sharp sign," of course, is U+266F, making the correct
    spelling C♯.

    Pronouncing C♯ as "D flat" is musically correct, at least in the
    equal-tempered environment, but has the twin disadvantages of (a)
    stomping on the name of a library published in Dr. Dobb's Journal during
    the early '90s and (b) creating an even worse typography problem. "Db"
    would be almost universally pronounced "dee-bee," leading to major
    abbreviation-overloading problems in the database world. Only the true
    Unicode spelling, D♭, could prevent this.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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