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The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Nuts and Bolts: unicode.

 Unicode is the International Standard for writing the world's languages on a computer screen.

It has its roots at the company Xerox in 1987, when Joe Becker, together with Lee Collins and Mark Davis from Apple, began to create a universal set of letters and characters. Later input came from, notably, Peter Fenwick and Dave Opstad.

At the moment there are 144,762 Unicode characters covering 159 scripts. Some of the languages that can be written are current, some historical. There are, in addition, many emojis and various formatting codes. 

The great thing about Unicode is that all the characters are compatible with each other, so multi-lingual texts are possible.

Unicode is maintained by the Unicode Consortium, which consists of computer big guys such as Adobe, Microsoft and Netflix, as well as various governments. However, the only political entity which is a full member with voting rights, is the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs of Oman.

The most recent scripts to be added to Unicode are Toto, Vithkuqi, Old Uyghur and Tangsa. Unicode also now has a way of representing the som currency symbol of Kyrgyzstan, and Znamenny musical notation.

The Word Den thinks that the whole world should really be jolly grateful.

Word To Use Today: well, anything you type on a computer probably relies on Unicode, but how about thanks? The Old English form of thanks is thancian.

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