[Spellyans] dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Christian Semmens christian.semmens at gmail.com
Mon Jan 31 10:15:23 GMT 2011

Hi Michael,

2011/1/30 Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>

> > At this point my relative inexperience may be starting to show, but would
> it not be possible to remove the diaresis and replace it with a circumflex?
> The length of the vowel being identified correctly and the function of the
> diacritic maintained?
> The bÿs/bës distinction could be made by writing bŷs/bês. It would not
> affect the system structurally. However, since ŷ is not in the Latin-1 or
> the Mac Roman legacy character sets, both PC and Mac users would find many
> if not most fonts not supporting the character. ÿ on the other hand does not
> offer this disadvantage. I consider the disadvantage to be very serious
> indeed. It's one thing to recommend diacritics; it's another to recommend
> diacritics that aren't supported by people's fonts.
> Are you willing to live with that? Options are (1) Mandate ŷ/ê but permit
> ÿ/ë in fallback and (2) Use ÿ/ë but permit ŷ/ê and (3) Use ÿ/ë as at
> present.
Option 1 would suit me fine. That way the technical deficiencies of some
fonts would not drive orthographic design. Surely the Welsh assembly can be
tapped for help to make fonts suitable for their own use, which would also
be suitable for our own purposes? It might even be possible to lobby the
font makers themselves to include the extra character. On Linux, even my
terminal font allows the use of ŷ.

I have just trawled through the fonts on Libre Office (Open Office fork) on
Ubuntu and attach the file I created that shows that ŷ is well served for
fonts under the free office packages. I have attached it below - apologies
for those that can only see Microsoft files, a splendid alternative office
package with far better file import filters is available for free on all
major platforms (Widows, Linux and Mac) at


Although I am sure that publishers will experience sometimes acute problems
with font selection, most casual users will have no problem selecting a
suitable font for most communications. I haven't tried a Mac yet.

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