Re: A sign/abbreviation for "magister"

From: Julian Bradfield via Unicode <>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 13:13:01 +0000 (GMT)

On 2018-10-30, James Kass via Unicode <> wrote:
> (Still responding to Ken Whistler's post)
> Do you know the difference between H₂SO₄ and H2SO4?  One of them is a
> chemical formula, the other one is a license plate number. T̲h̲a̲t̲ is
> not a stylistic difference /in my book/.  (Emphasis added.)

Yes. In chemical notation, sub/superscripting is semantically
That's not the case for abbreviations: the choice of Mr or any of its
superscripted and decorated variations is not semantically
The English abbreviation Mr was also frequently superscripted in the
15th-17th centuries, and that didn't mean anything special either - it
was just part of a general convention of superscripting the final
segment of abbreviations, probably inherited from manuscript practice.

> But suppose both those strings were *intended* to represent the chemical
> formula?  Then one of them would be optimally correct; the other one... meh.
> Now what if we were future historians given the task of encoding both of
> those strings, from two different sources, and had no idea what those
> two strings were supposed to represent?  Wouldn't it be best to preserve
> both strings intact, as they were originally written?

Indeed - and that means an image, not any textual representation. The
typeface might be significant too.

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Received on Tue Oct 30 2018 - 08:13:31 CDT

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