Re: 

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 16:59:32 EST

Tony Harmic scripsit:

> I have recently received a couple of emails from unrelated people
> (one at and the other at containing the string
> "" apparently as a list item bullet. This is hex F0B7, which
> is in the private use area.
> Does anyone know what character this is trying to be, and what evil
> software is generating such a thing?

Microsoft software generates private-use characters in the range
U+F000 to U+F0FF to represent characters in 8-bit dingbat fonts.
Without knowing the font, there is no saying just which dingbat
your character represents, but at least it cannot collide with any
well-known Unicode character.

This is not evil behavior, but an appropriate use of the Private Zone
to encode non-standardized characters, or in fact glyphs. Of course,
letting such text leak is a bad idea.

(It might be reasonable to unify specific dingbats in specific
fonts with particular Unicode characters, but that would require
specialized mapping tables for each font, and would probably produce
few if any hits, unless the font were known to be Adobe Symbol
(Zapf) compatible.)

John Cowan                         
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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