Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Frédéric Grosshans frederic.grosshans at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 16:49:24 CDT 2016

Le lun. 10 oct. 2016 22:32, Julian Bradfield <jcb+unicode at inf.ed.ac.uk> a
écrit :

> On 2016-10-10, Hans Åberg <haberg-1 at telia.com> wrote:
> > It is possible to write math just using ASCII and TeX, which was the
> original idea of TeX. Is that want you want for linguistics?
> I don't see the need to do everything in plain text. Long ago, I spent
> a great deal of time getting my editor to do semi-wysiwyg TeX maths
> (work later incorporated into x-symbol), but actually it's a waste of
> time and I've given up. Working mathematicians know LaTeX and its control
> sequences. Even my 12-year old uses LaTeX control sequences to
> communicate with his online maths courses.

I am a physicist regularly using LaTeX. I actually use a LaTeX-based input
method to have plain TeX math when possible. It makes more readable TeX
files and emails, specially when the equations are a bit long. It also save
characters when I livetweet scientific talks (like here

The possibility to have reasonable plaintext math also helps to have
reasonable results when copypasting an equation from a pdf on a mathjax
enabled website.

Of course, full plaintext math is not possible, and I don't think anyone
reasonable wants a plaintext solution even for something as common as
nested exponents and indices. Rich text formats like TeX have their use
case, but that doesn't mean plain text math, with all its limitations, is


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