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Unicode Favourites

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Just repeating an old topic: What are your Unicode favourites? What are the codepoints that unexpectedly turned out to be cool and interesting? Which are the coolest looking? Please paste yours below – possibly leaving an explanation if things aren’t obvious.


March 9, 2007, 10:12


Comment by Fred Blasdel: User icon

I’ve never really heard an explanation for why the snowman is in there — you seem to use it as your username a lot — if I did that I’d get tired of dealing with the wacky character on non-macs.

The japanese postal face is cool, Is the one in the middle one of the composed arabic greetings? I don’t have the extra language fonts installed (I’m dual booting the two most recent leopard builds).

My personal favorites are the non-printing characters — there’s the RTL and LTR marks, along with non-printing breaking and non-breaking spaces, and a dozen extra variations on the space. They’re absolutely wonderful for breaking people’s ham-handed regular expressions.

And ‘๛’ too…

…oh yeah, ‘…’ as well!

The em and en dashes are also a staple — I can’t stand it when I’m using X or Windows and I have to resort to the abhorrent ‘—’ construction.

I don’t like curly quotes embedded inline in a body of text, though at least it ain’t backtick abuse. People who don’t use real double quotes and use backticks for the left side should be taken out back and shot.

March 9, 2007, 12:32

Comment by Henrik Nørgaard Hansen: User icon

I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved the number symbol: №
It somehow speaks to me; it is simple in form, yet it symbolises something very complex - and it is utterly useless: one don’t have to show that a number is number; that is of course obvious.

It isn’t even necessarily an Unicode sign, as I’ve used it since HyperCard 1.0. It was included in the New York bitmap font ☺



March 9, 2007, 14:30

Comment by Dave2: User icon

☠ Hmmm… I don’t know how to make Markdown use larger text, but that’s a skull and crossbones. It’s about the only Unicode character I use with any regularity (though the biohazard character is pretty sweet too).

Have you ever looked through the Tibetan set? Beautiful characters there.

March 9, 2007, 16:01

Comment by Dan W.: User icon

I’ve always enjoyed writing upside down. I have found most, but not all, of the Roman alphabet in “inverted” form. Some letters are missing, and the baseline is not quite right, but still it’s interesting for iChat status messages.


Anybody find any of the missing letters?

March 9, 2007, 16:40

Comment by Fred Blasdel: User icon

Ha Ha! Markdown is automatically making curly quotes and transforming the dash-dash I hate into a proper em-dash.

March 9, 2007, 23:48

Comment by ssp: User icon

Thanks for all your feedback. Cool ideas in there.

Fred: Sorry about the auto-conversion… sometimes it bites people in those Unicode cases but generally it’s quite convenient. I just happen to like the Hiragino Snowman a lot, so I’m using it. The Arabic one is the codepoint with the longest decomposition I know of. Supposedly it means Peace upon him and people are supposed to add it when speaking about their prophet.

It seems that the glyph ๛ you mentioned has a khmer variant U+17DA which looks really cool: ៚ (but you’ll need Code 2000 to see that glyph). And come on, you shouldn’t skip on fonts when installing – that’ll save you the best part of three seconds.

Dan, that’s great. I’m sure we’ll find something for the c at least: ɔ, which - ahem - by it’s name is an ‘open o’ but it does look right and it is listed between the strange b and d variants in Unicode. And the same holds for ɟ which technically is a ‘dotless j with stroke’ rather than an inverted f. One could perhaps get away with the ‘long s’ ſ for the j, so there should just be the g left…

Hmmm, no idea about how to fool Markdown and MT for this kind of marukup. But, hey, New York & HyperCard – some of my favourite old toys.

March 10, 2007, 2:56

Comment by Carl: User icon

I like the stars ★ and ☆. I use → all the time. I’m also a big fan of hair spaces, thin spaces, and whatnot. I’d like a script that would automatically convert single quotes next to double quotes into the proper curly quotes with a hair space between them. Once I actually had a sentence with ”’” in it, so I put in the hair spaces manually (” ’ ”) to make it look nicer.

Here’s a nice cloud: ☁. Caduceus: ☤. Ying-yang: ☯. Adi Shakti: ☬. Black queen: ♛. Some random stuff: ❊❈♪※♨¨.


March 11, 2007, 4:26

Comment by Jesper: User icon


Golden ratio, baby. Well, phi, but come on.

March 12, 2007, 21:21

Comment by Edward Vielmetti: User icon

I asked this on my blog & got this response:


SNOWMAN is my favorite too, and I use it in my Firefox toolbar to keep track of my bookmarks for the weather.

britta noted this:

i like ❡. so pretty, so unnecessary, and firefox likes to display it differently depending on the weather outside.

April 2, 2007, 14:59

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