Every character has a story #40: U+202a, that control freak of a character!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/02/04 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2013/02/04/10390774.aspx

Now it was November 20th of last year, about the time that Palernmo the Douche was getting me kicked out of nursing hone rehab (more on that another day!), when I was sent a very cool tweet:

@michkap xkcd is for you today. xkcd.com/1137/

— Hafthor Stefansson (@hafthor) November 21, 2012

 I promised myself I'd get into this some day.

As it turns out, today is some day!

The strip:


 I'll admit as an old Unicode guy I've had nightmares not unlike this in the past, where especially these characters:

have wreaked havoc in both plausible and implausible ways (sometimes with Freddy Krueger narrating, sometimes with Mark Davis or Asmus Freytag or Ken Whistler!

Thankfully #1, if the real world ever got this crazy, it could never happen, as UAX #9 indicates:

All of these codes are limited to the current paragraph; thus their effects are terminated by a paragraph separator.

Whew! It's how I know it's a dream: the ENTER key doesn't fix it all... :-)

Anyway, thanks, Hafthor. Sorry it took so long to cover it!

Joshua on 4 Feb 2013 10:21 AM:

The LR/RL stuff in Unicode is insane. Too bad they never got all the bugs out of autodetect.

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