RE: Origin of Ellipsis (was: RE: Empty set)

From: Whistler, Ken <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 19:02:30 +0000

I wrote:

> > As Philippe surmised, it is a compatibility character, originally included
> > in the Unicode 1.0 repertoire for cross-mapping to existing legacy
> > encodings:
> >
> > Code Page 932: 0x81 0x64
> > Code Page 949: 0xA1 0xA6
> >

Asmus responded:

> which just pushes that question forward in time...

Or *backward*, depending on which direction you are facing, I suppose.

In any case, meditation on the content of a JIS X 0208:1997 table, or a KS X 1001:1992
table, or a Big Five table, etc., is in order when trying to understand these kinds
of issues. The doohickeys sitting in the row/cell slots in those standards include
all kinds of gorp that wouldn't otherwise be necessary, if Unicode encoding were
built from the ground up. The explanation for the single-character encoding of
an ellipsis character need look not much further than the explanation, for example,
of "iii" (Row 5, Cell 03 in KS X 1001:1992): it fits in a box. And things that fit in a
box were what were blitted to the character-based screens by the screen generators
in the bad old days before image models and graphical screen displays and
sophisticated text renderers.

The *interesting* question, in my opinion, is why folks feel impelled to use
U+2026 to render a baseline ellipsis in Latin typography at all, rather than
just using U+002E ad libitum...

Received on Fri Sep 13 2013 - 14:04:43 CDT

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