All4Ɇn wrote: ↑
19 Mar 2020 00:59
Somehow French has the character ù even though it literally only occurs in the word où (where) and serves no other purpose than to disambiguate it from ou (or). Am I really to believe that any language written in the 21st century would actually have this still around? With an orthography that's as weird as it gets, by now they certainly would've switched it to oue or oû. And who the hell thought that it made any sense for this conlang's keyboard layout to include this almost completely pointless character and meanwhile œ, which is used in several extremely common words, isn't on it at all?
It's because the national keyboard layouts usually descend from schemes made by IBM in the turn of the late 80s / early 90s to type languages as well as they could be in ISO standards. The standard for Western European languages, ISO 8859-1, published in 1987, did not include <Œ œ> because the delegate from France at drafting time, who had been chosen on the basis of being a trusted polyglot, thought <Œ œ> weren't real letters in French but just common typographical conventions (according to him, using <OE oe> was presumably also acceptable...), like the joining of <fi fl> or the occasional joining of <ct st>.
This article where the story is told
(in French) says that there was a lively debate between the anglophone delegate from Canada, who didn't know French but said he was sure <Œ œ> were letters used in Quebec, and the French delegate. A delegate team from Bull Publishing Company, an American publishing house, which apparently had weight in the discussion, supported the French delegate because they themselves never used <Œ œ> when printing French books. None of them bothered to use reference works, in spite of being in the middle of setting long-term international computing standards. Thus <Œ œ> were not included in the Western European ISO standard, and therefore did not make it to the early spread of keyboard layouts.
I find it hilarious
that the Spanish ª and º (the latter distinct from °, the degree symbol), sometimes used when writing abbreviated ordinal numbers but optional in the language, were included instead. Note that the Spanish language actually uses all four of a
for this, so even here I think that whoever decided on Spanish coverage failed to do their job well too. It is true that ª and º are more common, but er
is also needed.
Examples of abbreviated ordinals: 1er
(primer), 1ª (primera), 1º (primero), 2ª (segunda), 2º (segundo), 3er
(tercer), 3ª (tercera), 3º (tercero), 4ª (cuarta), 4º (cuarto), ..., 10ª (décima), 10º (décimo), 11er
(décimo primer), 11ª (décima primera), 11º (décimo primero)...
These are more commonly written as 1er., 1a., 1o., 2a., 2o., 3er., 3a., 3o., etc.