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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Pound Sign
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1089  Thursday, 5 June 2003

[1]     From:   Michael E. Cohen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Jun 2003 07:35:36 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1071 Re: Pound Sign

[2]     From:   Thomas M Lahey <
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        Date:   Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 08:41:48 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1071 Re: Pound Sign


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael E. Cohen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Jun 2003 07:35:36 -0700
Subject: 14.1071 Re: Pound Sign
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1071 Re: Pound Sign

I've seen various comments about whether or not the British pound sign
is an ASCII character. No, it is not. ASCII stands for "American
Standard Code for Information Interchange" and is VERY old (in computing
terms). It only contains 128 characters (including some, like BELL and
LF) which are non-printing and are commonly called control characters.

The methods given for producing the pound symbol are actually creating a
character code with a number greater than 127 (ASCII runs from 0-127).
These codes, often mistakenly called "upper ASCII", can vary from
platform to platform (old Macs define them one way, old DOS machines
define them another, Windows yet another) and from language to language.

Hardy notes that he is now using the Latin 9 ISO character set. This
character set does have the pound sign, as the posting Hardy made
demonstrates. Latin 9 ISO contains the ASCII characters in the first 128
positions, and then defines other commonly used European and
typographical characters in the next sequence of 128 codes. Most modern
e-mail programs will handle Latin 9 ISO just fine as long as the mail
headers specify it properly.

The most commonly used standard, because of the Microsoft Windows OS
dominance in the marketplace, is the Windows character set, which is not
officially an international standard; ISO 8859-1 is the character set
that is the "official" standard set for Western European and US
character sets.

And then there's Unicode, which can handle a huge number of
character-based writing systems....

Unfortunately, the original specification for Internet e-mail only
specified ASCII (yes, the designers of the specification were American
and were not thinking internationally--not surprising, since this was
done at a time when the number of e-mail users in the world could
probably fit into a small lecture hall).

Michael E. Cohen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas M Lahey <
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Date:           Saturday, 5 Apr 2003 08:41:48 -0800
Subject: 14.1071 Re: Pound Sign
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1071 Re: Pound Sign

Hi,

In the American/English speaking world we abbreviate pounds, lbs -- a
couple of strokes less than pounds & all ASCII.

Ponder,
Tom

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