Re: Quick survey of Apple symbol fonts (in context of the Wingding/Webding proposal)

From: John W Kennedy <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:04:29 -0400

On Jul 15, 2011, at 2:29 PM, Mark E. Shoulson wrote:
> On 07/15/2011 01:37 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
>> How do I talk about U+2420 SYMBOL FOR SPACE in plain text? Other than
>> the way I just did, I mean.
> This "infinite recursion" argument doesn't hold up.

Those of us old enough to recall IBM's old 6-bit BCDIC code (a retronym -- it was known as "BCD" in its own day) will remember the overstricken b/ character used to represent the Substitute Blank character, the overstricken =| character for Record Mark, and others. (Annoyingly enough, these and some other BCDIC graphics are not covered by Unicode, which must be a problem for historians.) I cannot bring to mind any infinite regress happening at the time.

(The Substitute Blank, for the curious, was used when recording character data on 7-track tape with even parity. The standard Blank character, all zeroes, could not be safely recorded, so it was translated to Substitute Blank, and Substitute Blank was translated back to Blank on reading. Binary 7-track tape was recorded with odd parity to avoid this problem, but was less reliable than even parity.)

John W Kennedy
"Though a Rothschild you may be
In your own capacity,
    As a Company you've come to utter sorrow--
But the Liquidators say,
'Never mind--you needn't pay,'
    So you start another company to-morrow!"
  -- Sir William S. Gilbert.  "Utopia Limited"
Received on Fri Jul 15 2011 - 14:06:29 CDT

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