Python Unicode handling wins again -- mostly

Gene Heskett gheskett at
Sat Nov 30 06:25:48 CET 2013

On Saturday 30 November 2013 00:23:22 Zero Piraeus did opine:

> On Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 04:21:49AM +0000, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> > On Fri, 29 Nov 2013 21:08:49 -0500, Roy Smith wrote:
> > > The whole idea of ligatures like fi is purely typographic.
> > 
> > In English, that's correct. I'm not sure if we can generalise that to
> > all languages that have ligatures. It also partly depends on how you
> > define ligatures. For example, would you consider that ampersand & to
> > be a ligature? These days, I would consider & to be a distinct
> > character, but originally it began as a ligature for "et" (Latin for
> > "and").
> > 
> > But let's skip such corner cases, as they provide much heat but no
> > illumination, [...]
> In the interest of warmth (I know it's winter in some parts of the
> world) ...
> As I understand it, "&" has always been used to replace the word "et"
> specifically, rather than the letter-pair e,t (no-one has ever written
> "k&tle" other than ironically), which makes it a logogram rather than a
> ligature (like "@").

Whereas in these here parts, the "&" has always been read as a single 
character shortcut for the word "and".
> (I happen to think the presence of ligatures in Unicode is insane, but
> my dictator-of-the-world certificate appears to have gotten lost in the
> post, so fixing that will have to wait).
>  -[]z.

Cheers, Gene
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