Apostrophes in non-ASCII names (was: A proposed solution for descriptions)

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Fri Jun 30 05:59:37 CEST 2006

Caoimhin O Donnaile scripsit:

> I suppose I just thought that Unicode was more semantically based
> than that - I suppose because it distinguishes Latin, Greek and
> Cyrillic 'A' but doesn't distinguish the glyphs for 'a' and 'g',
> for example.

Letters are distinguished across scripts, but marks of various sorts are
typically not: the Greek and Latin circumflexes are the same character,
for example, as are the stubby Polish and the flatter Western European
acute.  There are exceptions in both directions: in Kurdish Cyrillic
the Latin Q and W are used, and some marks are in fact script-specific.

> Actually, it would have been really really useful for programming
> (and might still be in the future??) to have distinct left and right
> delimiters for strings rather than the neutral ASCII quotes.

That was in fact specified by the Algol 60 programming language; some
implementations used ` and ', others simply ignored that particular
bit of the standard.  Strings had to contain balanced quotation marks,
there being no escape sequence.

There is no real going back.  Though I          John Cowan
may come to the Shire, it will not seem         cowan at ccil.org
the same; for I shall not be the same.          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth,
and a long burden.  Where shall I find rest?           --Frodo

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