Re: Characters in early sets

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 11:52:40 EST

Jukka Korpela <> wrote:

> My conclusion is that when a delta-like character is used as a
> mathematical operator, such as the Laplacian or difference operator,
> and not as a letter, it should be treated as U+2206 in Unicode.
> However, if you're using, say, capital alpha, beta, gamma, delta, ...
> as symbols of quantities just as A, B, C, ... can be used, then the
> characters should probably be regarded as Greek letters.

But what's interesting about the use of Greek delta and other such
characters in BCDIC (etc.) is that they were *not* intended either as
mathematical operators, symbols of quantities, or building blocks for
composing Greek text. Rather, they seem to have been chosen solely
for their value as "strange glyphs" that would carry no meaning at all!

In this context, it is hard to tell which of the two Unicode characters
(U+0394 or U+2206), both of which carry a definite meaning, should be
used to convey this "strange glyph" pseudo-meaning.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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