We just saw some of the opening ceremony of the olympic games. They always had ‘ΑΘΗΝΑ’ on screen and I was puzzled about the greek letters.
That’s a bit embarrassing. After all I’ve been doing more maths than is good for a sane person for years and we tend to use one greek letter or another. But mostly the small ones and not the capitals – and if we use the capitals, we use those that don’t resemble letters from the Latin alphabet. After all visual distinction is one of the main reasons to start using other alphabets and on a purely visual basis it may be hard to tell that the ‘Α’ is ‘GREEK CAPITAL LETTER ALPHA’ rather than ‘LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A’.
Now I was puzzled by the ‘Η’, which should be something ‘e’-like of course to give ATHENA. So there were ε and η in play. I suspected it was the latter but I wasn’t 100%, so I confirmed it with the ever helpful UnicodeChecker – and it turned out to be the ever evil (hey, they even named a terrorist organisation after it) eta…
On another note, wouldn’t you agree that the clothes of the German team were designed by somebody with a complete lack of sense for colour? Other teams wore shades of brown/beige as well, but none looked as bad.
Sven-S. Porst does his usual clever Unicode explorations and gets to the bottom of character issues related to ΑΘΗΝΑ 2004
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