Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 16:09:30 -0500


Subject: "=" wrongs (was: "Ami")

Duane Campbell wrote:

It's German slang, though it might also occur in other languages.

Pronoun# ced#20

AH-mee. In Germany the word seldom stands alone, but is most often

seen a# s#20 part of the phrase "bl#FCte Ami".

Well, he didn't write exactly that. I've substituted pound signs ("#") for the

equal signs ("=") that doubtless he didn't write either but that were

probably inserted by his mailer, along with some of the characters that

followed them.* I don't know what the %^&*() most of them are for, but

they seem to be related to meaningless readjustments of the margin. But

the last one, in the middle of the German phrase, seems to go with "FC",

which is hexadecimal for

superscript "n" (or lowercase Greek eta) in PC-ASCII

u-umlaut in Windows

probably more and different things in Macintosh and Unix

God-knows-what in other systems.

u-umlaut is the likeliest reading here, but it does take deciphering. A

general plea: PLEASE don't use accented letters on this list, or any other

characters that aren't on a standard keyboard. You never can tell what's

going to happen to them before they reach other people's screens, but

you can safely bet that most of the time it won't be good. Available

alternatives in this case include

"blute Ami" (umlaut over u)

"blu"te Ami" (that's an umlaut)

"bluete Ami"

and even maybe, Heaven help us,

"bl u umlaut te Ami"

* I made the substitution because Duane's mailer, and probably some

others' as well, may be smart enough to take it as well as dishing it out,

and in that case he and they wouldn't have any idea what I'm talking


Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :