Re: Upside Down Fu character

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Mon, 09 Jan 2012 12:23:18 -0800

On 1/9/2012 2:52 AM, wrote:
> From: Asmus Freytag<>
>> I have no opinion on the Upside-down FU ideograph as a candidate for
>> encoding, but I think any analysis of its merits needs to be more
>> nuanced than what your message seemed to imply.
>> A./
> While I generally agree with your more nuanced view on this matter, Asmus, I'm
> afraid I have to disagree in this particular case. The upside down Fu has been
> used decoratively for a thousand years (it's a Chinese pun), and if anyone
> wanted to use it in plain text, they would have by now. With a character of
> such antiquity, there really is no question of computer technology suppressing
> its use. Put simply, people have either used this character in plain text, or
> they haven't. If someone can dig up a couple example texts, then it's no
> question. If nobody can find those example texts, I think that speaks volumes
> on the utility of the character and its suitability to encoding.
> -Van


I wrote "I have no opinion..."

Reading your reply may nudge me closer to having an opinion :)

And, for the record, I think what you wrote is rather nuanced.

If there's a smoking gun, I'm sure that would settle the encodability
question, and given the history of the character, you make a good
argument that searching for plain text in pre-digital technologies
is feasible, and appropriate.

Still, I'm interested in the general issue - what to do about a
(hypothetical) character or a hypothetical new use
for an otherwise existing character that doesn't have the
benefit of first having been around for thousands of years
in an age of hand-lettering or hot-metal print.

If Unicode wants to be the only game in town, and if non-digital
text is disappearing as a medium, how does one address
innovation without leaving broken (non-supportable) digital data
as a prerequisite.

Currency symbols have been given an exemption from this chicken
and egg conundrum, because everyone realizes that using temporary
encodings for them until their use is "established" is unreasonable.

So, my question remains, are there any other avenues besides
hot-metal printed text and compatibility encodings to demonstrate
that a character (not this example, but in general) is a viable candidate?

Received on Mon Jan 09 2012 - 14:26:00 CST

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