Why are there MODIFIER LETTERS that are not in the Letter, Modifier category?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/08/10 14:10 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/08/10/694593.aspx


An interesting question that comes up periodically when people look at Unicode....

As is true of other cases, this question has a true 'drive on a parkway, but park on a driveway' feel to it.

But the truth is that there are many Unicode characters with names like MODIFIER LETTER ______, and while some of them have a general category of Lm (Letter, Modifier), some of them do not. Many of them have a general category of Sk (Symbol. Modifier), instead.

The difference between the two general category values? Well, the principal difference is whether they can be used in identifiers -- Sk characters cannot, and Lm characters can. This is actually the main reason that Sk was added to Unicode!

I will be talking about some of these in upcoming posts, in the context of every Unicode character having a story....

 

This post brought to you by ʱ (U+02b1, a.k.a. MODIFIER LETTER SMALL H WITH HOOK)


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referenced by

2011/07/27 Po vs.So? Sm vs. So? General Category, generally speaking

2011/07/25 Why are the short names longer than than long names?

2006/08/14 Every character has a story #22: U+0c27 (CARON)

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