From: Curtis Clark (
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 11:33:50 EDT

At 02:31 AM 00.05.17 -0800, Marco Cimarosti wrote:
>It is the way to go only if you want to reproduce the traditional
>typographic appearance of Latin.

I have been fascinated by this exchange, especially Marco's explication of
old practice (I have seen the French name Jean in Renaissance works as
"Iehan"). But it occurs to me that there are many uses for Latin today, and
some of these might conflict.

Biologists use Latin as a basis for the names of species of organisms, as
well as groups of species, and botanists still describe new species in
Latin. One of these days I'm going to search out the standards body in
charge of language tags and propose Biological Latin (my dream is
language-sensitive spell-checking and hyphenation of scientific names in
body text of any language).

In biological Latin, "v" and "u" cannot map to the same codepoint. As long
as scientific names obey a set of codified grammatic rules, they are "set
as spelt", and all future authors must obey the original spelling. No
algorithmic unification of "v" and "u" (or "i" and "j") could ever work.

Curtis Clark        
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA        

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