RE: Latin Script

From: John Dlugosz (
Date: Tue Jun 15 2010 - 10:25:27 CDT

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    > Amazingly, I consider Latin Small Letter Phi to be a part of the Latin
    > script. Why?: in my typographic life, I would design it differently
    > from Greek small Letter Phi. The Greek phi needs to work with other
    > Greek letters. The Latin phi needs to work in phonetic notation, which
    > is Latin letters; it needs to have more contrast with Latin Small
    > Letter Q than the Greek phi, so it has an ascender. As a Classicist, a
    > Greek phi with an ascender interrupts the flow of text, unless in a
    > slant font, so it is designed quite differently from Latin Small Letter
    > Phi. It's just like Cyrillic Dze and Sha, which have been borrowed from
    > Latin and Coptic, are designed and act like Cyrillic letters.

    I appreciate the difference in appearance when using a phi with English text. But, why isn't that a font difference (only)? We use some regular letters for IPA spellings, and don't need special codes for those.

    Having more than one phi makes it hard on computer programming languages. If I define a symbol (variable or constant) named ɸ and some user types 'φ' or 'ϕ' instead, it won't match.

    > The question really only makes sense if it has
    > context: for what purpose are you defining something as Latin script?

    I agree. That's why we have Latin-1, Latin-2, etc. When not limited to 256 code points, you can say "Character set suitable for encoding the following languages..." and look at the historical national code pages for them as well as modern stuff that didn't fit in 256 or were not applicable to fixed-pitch fonts, such as typographic characters.


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