Unicode tidbits

Tuesday 17 April 2012This is 11 years old. Be careful.

Since writing Pragmatic Unicode, or, How do I stop the pain?, I’ve collected a handful of Unicode-related stuff:

  • Unicode 6.1 came out last year, Andrew West’s summary of the latest additions is a view from the trenches. The commenters on his blog are asking about the status of their favorite exotic script, for example.
  • A PDF showing what is proposed to be added in Unicode 6.2. It’s very clear that semantic distinctions are not important for new characters! Also, we finally get U+1F5D1, TRASH CAN!
  • Michael Kaplan has a series of blog posts, Every character has a story, exploring some of the back-stories of characters in Unicode. His musings on the three monkeys are especially erudite.
  • Matt Mayer has some interesting stories about Love Hotels and Unicode. I especially like the reasoning behind the “regional indicator symbols” A-Z, to avoid having to put flags in Unicode.
  • On the lighter side, the Fake Unicode Consortium presents more creative names for Unicode characters. Currently, you can’t see the characters because of a Google+ redesign, but maybe soon... ☹
  • Finally, in 1889, when telegraph messages were paid for by the word, “Unicode” was the name for a dictionary of commonly-sent phrases mapped to obscure words so that instead of sending, “Jones dines with us this evening and remains the night - Smith,” you could send, “Jones Coctivus Smith.” It’s of course no use to us now, but interesting to see how communications technology was accommodated. Also a bit shocking to see how maternity has changed: flip to page 11 to the section labelled “Births” to see the kinds of messages people needed to commonly send.


Armenian right and left eternity signs!
@Bill Mill: yes, I noticed those. Armenians must have a rich philosophical life! The variety of arrows and floral symbols seemed a bit much to me, but what do I know?
Telegraph codes still good for collect calls?
Flip to page 14 to the section labelled "Business" to see that "Anthrax" means : "Business is suspended on account of holidays".

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