Unicode 7.0 Released
Written by Sue Gee   
Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Unicode Standard specifies the representation of text in software products and standards. The newly released version adds 2,834 more characters to the existing set of 110,187. Some of these are amusing, others seem so obvious you are surprised to discover they were not already there.


The  majority of the new characters are part of the 23 new scripts, which as we noted in New and Old in Unicode 7 are for "lesser-used and historic scripts" including Linear A, Siddham and Grantha.

The announcement of the availability of Version 7.0 also notes:

Major enhancements were made to the Indic script properties. New property values were added to enable a more algorithmic approach to rendering Indic scripts. These include properties for joining behavior, new classes for numbers, and a further division of the syllabic categories of viramas and rephas. With these enhancements, the default rendering for newly added Indic scripts can be significantly improved.

Other new characters include currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat and approximately 250 emoji (pictographic symbols), some amusing and some more mundane .

One that we previously commented on is MAN IN BUSINESS SUIT LEVITATING which conveys the meaning "jump" and here of the left we have SLEUTH OR SPY which means "investigate" and DARK SUNGLASSES with the meaning "cool".



The FLYING ENVELOPE in the next column is obviously enough "send message", PEN OVER STAMPED ENVELOPE is not ascribed ant extra  meaning but, like the levitating man is part of Microsoft's Webdings font.

Sadly the Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs key doesn't provide us with any colorful descriptions of IF595 which it simply labels as REVERSED HAND WITH MIDDLE FINGER EXTENDED.  IF595, which is clearly the Star Trek "Live long and prosper" is prosaically described as  RAISED HAND WITH PART BETWEEN MIDDLE AND RING FINGERS.

The symbols in the right hand column are part of a new and extensive set of computer symbols and are so familar it comes as a surprise that they were not already in Unicode. 




Having these symbols and other pictographs available as part of the Unicode Standard is important for some reason that I'm sure will become self evident. Of course having Linear A, an undeciphered writing system, in Unicode is of much more practical value. I for one plan to add a pre-historic Creatan locale to my app complete with Linear A dialogs.

For shear coolicon it's unbeatable. 



More Information

Announcing The Unicode Standard, Version 7.0

Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs key

Related Articles

New and Old in Unicode 7

Unicode Issues in Perl

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2014 )