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Re: Euro currency sign

From: Peter Flynn <pflynn@imbolc.ucc.ie>
Date: 19 Oct 1997 01:01:21 +0100
To: manuel.carrasco@emea.eudra.org
Cc: www-international@w3.org, www-html@w3.org, unicode@unicode.org, Patrice.HUSSON@bxl.dg13.cec.be
Message-id: <199710190001.BAA05028@imbolc.ucc.ie>
Perhaps someone could explain this more clearly:

   The euro currency sign is in Unicode Version 2.0:

       Unicode number       Glyph        Name
       20A0                        CE           EURO-CURRENCY SIGN

   The glyph "CE" (both characters are interlaced with the E lower)
   is *not* the euro glyph.  

So why does it say that it is? There is some serious mistake here;
or is it a historical entry that just needs renaming now?

   The euro glyph is like a "E" with two horizontal
   bars in the middle.                   ^^^^^^^^^^ you must add this word
                                                    in text descriptions.

Correct. So a document must explain what CE is and why it is there,
and why it is labelled "EURO-CURRENCY SIGN" when it is not.

   The following position is proposed:

       Unicode number       Glyph        Name
       007C                       |               VERTICAL LINE

This would appear to me as being a particularly dangerous and careless
thing to do. A new glyph should _never_ replace something in this part
of the table: it should go somewhere where it will affect as few
people as possible, like the y-trema. With the greatest of respect to
Jacques-Andre (who pointed out my own errors regarding this character
some while back; and to the citizens of those French towns whose name
incorprates the y-trema), I submit that the number of people affected
by substituting a little-used code point is less than the number
affected by substituting a more heavily-used one.

   would not be available with the correct glyph: if a programmer in San
   were requested to introduce the euro currency sign, he would probably
   the Unicode book and copy the (wrong) "CE" glyph.

This is guaranteed unless the explanations are tightened up A LOT. At
the moment they are probably grossly ambiguous to anyone outside the
character-set field and need much much better explanation.

Please let us not compound the error by picking a replacement location
we will live to regret.

   This document represent only the views of the author.

Me too :-)

It's worth noting for our non-European colleagues that the majority of
European citizens I have spoken to (and I have discussed this
extensively with people from many countries) feel the new currency
name is a serious mistake on the part of well-meaning and hard-working
but ultimately grotesquely misdirected politicians and bureaucrats.

Nobody wants the name "euro" and it carries entirely the wrong
semantics, and the citizens were not consulted about it, but the
damage has been done, and cannot easily be undone, so we're stuck with
it. Let's just hope we can find a suitably derogatory nickname :-)

Received on Saturday, 18 October 1997 20:01:27 UTC

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