remove special characters from line

Radovan Garabik garabik-news-2002-02 at
Tue Jul 1 17:14:40 CEST 2003

Chris Rennert <Chris.Rennert at> wrote:
> Hello all,
> If I have a line like this
> ²blah blah blah blah blah
> I know I could do a slice like this [1:] to pull everything but the special
> character, but what if I have several lines in a file.
> I am not sure how I would detect a special character like that.  I would
> just like to pull everything from those lines (and the special character
> always appears as the first character, but not on every line) except for the
> special characters.
> I hope I have enough detail for someone to help me.
> Thanks in advance,

import unicodedata
def is_special(ch):
    return unicodedata.category(ch)[0]!='L'

for i in file('filename', 'U'):
    line = unicode(i, 'utf-8') # or your encoding
    if is_special(line[0]):
        line = line[1:]

or something. Depends on your definiton of "special" :-)

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