IPA in spreadsheets (was: antedating "hobo" 1885)

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Fri May 29 13:59:11 UTC 2009

On Thu, 28 May 2009 22:13:12 -0400, Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

> Though I feel strange defending Mr. Z., he said "without the need for
> *special* fonts. Arguably, a Unicode font that supports all the IPA
> characters is "special" in contrast to a font that need only support

Well, it depends on one's perspective, doesn't it. For me, in 2009, a font
that merely offers glyphs for ascii characters would be special in that it
would be so severely limited, and while a font with IPA glyphs is arguably
special, the specialness is lessened by the fact that all modern desktop
operating systems ship with such a font.

Any non-Unicode font would be more special than either (in its

Given that the number of characters covered by Unicode is much larger than
any font designer can manage, each font is special in the sense that it'll
serve a particular niche or domain -- all languages written in a variant of
the Latin alphabet, fonts for writing Chinese as distinct from fonts for
writing Japanese (even for the overlap in code points there are differences
in stylistic preferences for glyph shapes) etc etc.


Chris Waigl

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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