Sunday, July 22, 2007

caron, wrapped in mystery

bubul, over on bulbulovo, has an hilarious entry on how his family name, which is of Hungarian origin, gets mangled by the bureaucratic and the clueless. (My favorite was a French reading of an escaped XML entity of capital Č as Č on a written form copied from some email or online form.) This bittersweet anecdote brought to mind the how and why behind Unicode calling č a Latin small letter c with caron, rather than c háček (which is what I learned in my intro phonology class).

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Blogger bulbul said...

"Nobody knows", indeed. It seems the reason for the name was lost deep in the mists of time, before there was a Unicode standard and characters roamed the vast plains of Earth without a sense and without purpose...
I want to make one thing clear: I call it a háček out of respect for Jan Hus and love for our Czech brethren. Plus, I don't want to add to the confusion. If we had it our way, everyone would call ˇ by its one true name: mäkčeň.

July 23, 2007 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger bulbul said...

Oh sweet Lord...

July 23, 2007 at 6:10 AM  
Blogger zmjezhd said...

Mäkčeň, eh. "Diakritické znamienko na označenie mäkkosti hlásky" according to the online Short Dictionary of the Slovak Language. Before this moment, I would never've guessed that Slovak had an a umlaut.

July 23, 2007 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Rethabile said...

Ntate thabiso,
I have tagged you with the Blogger Reflections Award. Thank you.

July 25, 2007 at 1:18 AM  

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