View Full Version : content: "long-marks" and "short-marks"

Mar 23rd, 2007, 09:33 PM
This is really a character-set problem that cuts across all kinds of computer-generated text, not just HTML. So I hope I'm posting this thread on the right forum.

Well anyways, here goes:

When I learned English, the pronunciation of vowels was depicted by a "long mark" over a long vowel and a "short mark" over a short vowel. Take a look at dictionary.com, at the American Heritage pronunciation parenthesis for "Beelzebub." (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/beelzebub) See the "long mark" over the first "e" and the "short mark" over the "u"? Then click on the Pronunciation Key link, and take a gander at the whole set.

That's them! :D

This is an issue that I've been fighting for twelve years, mind-you, so when I saw the above on the Web, somehow being depicted with HTML, I shouted "Wooo-Hooo!!! Then I discovered that dictionary.com has disabled my view-source command in IE6. :eek: (Evidently, from surfing around here, this is accomplished on the server-side.) (Yes, and I tried cut-and-paste, which produces the base letter with no mark.)


WordPerfect has proprietary characters with the marks, but they suffer from the setback, ahem, of being proprietary. You can't embed them in a PDF, for example. (It seems like I found them on MS Word 2000 too, but as I sit here I can't put my hands on them. Anyway, they didn't work reliably cross-platform, with PDF at least, even when the font set was embedded, which is why I don't use them.) And forget about HTML.

Personally, I'm interested in depicting in HTML and elsewhere "long marks" over the letters "e" and "o" (although, for a lot of reasons, I'd like to have "long marks" and "short marks" for all the vowels), for use in transliterating Greek characters into English: the "long a" to distinguish eta from epsilon, and the "long o" to distinguish omega from omnicron. This is the traditional way of transliterating Greek into English. But from what I can tell, most websites (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0133%3Abook%3D1%3Aline%3D5&.submit=Change+now) and programs (http://www.quickverse.com/shopfiles/default.asp) that use transliterated Greek, have had to abandon the traditional way; in QuickVerse's case, by abandoning distinguishing marks altogether; and in www.perseus.tufts.edu's case, by using "Í" and "Ű" -- which to me, by comparison, look like crud.

My question in a nutshell: Somehow they depicted "long marks" and "short marks" with HTML at dictionary.com. How-did-dey-do-dat?

Mar 23rd, 2007, 09:53 PM
Wondering if there is something in this link (http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/chars.html#theway) to help you out. Have you tried utf-8 as a character set?

Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:35 PM
I've attached the interesting part of the source below. I don't have the capability to try it out from where I am, but maybe this will help.


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function ahdpop() {
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<p align="center"><a href="/go/http://www.reference.com/search?db=web&amp;q=beelzebub">Top Web Results for &quot;beelzebub&quot;</a><br /></p>
<h1>7 results for: <em>beelzebub</em></h1>

<ul id="nearby"><li><dl><dt>[ <a href="#" onclick="return false;">Nearby Entries</a> ]</dt>
<dd style="border-top: 2px solid #003a66"><span id="nearby-up"></span></dd><dd><a href="/browse/beekeeping">beekeeping</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beeld">beeld</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/Beeliada">Beeliada</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beelike">beelike</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beeline">beeline</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beelined">beelined</a></dd>

<dd><a href="/browse/beelines">beelines</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beelining">beelining</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/Beem">Beem</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/Beemaster">Beemaster</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beemer">beemer</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/been">been</a></dd>
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<dd><a href="/browse/been%20to%20the%20wars">been to the wars</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beep">beep</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beeped">beeped</a></dd>
<dd><a href="/browse/beeper">beeper</a></dd>
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</dl></li></ul><p id="other-results">View results from: Dictionary | <a href="http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/beelzebub">Thesaurus</a> | <a href="http://www.reference.com/search?q=beelzebub">Encyclopedia</a> | <a href="http://www.reference.com/browse/all/beelzebub">All Reference</a> | <a href="http://www.reference.com/search?db=web&amp;q=beelzebub">the Web</a></p>

<!-- begin luna -->
<span class="src"><a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna.html" title="Click for more information about this dictionary"><cite>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)</cite></a></span> - <span class="src"><a href="/cite.html?qh=beelzebub&amp;ia=luna" target="_blank">Cite This Source</a></span>
<!-- google_ad_region_start=def -->
<div class="luna-Ent"><span class="me">Be∑el∑ze∑bub</span> <span class="pronset">&nbsp;<img src="http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/premium.gif" border="0" />&nbsp; <img class="luna-Img" border="0" src="http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png" alt="" /><a href="https://secure.reference.com/premium/login.html?rd=2&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdictionary.reference.com%2Fbrowse%2Fbeelzebub"><img src="http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/speaker.gif" border="0" /></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="show_ipapr" style="display:none;"><span class="prondelim">/</span><span class="pron">biˈɛl<img class="luna-Img" border="0" src="http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png" alt="" />zəˌbʌb, </span><span class="pron">ˈbil<img class="luna-Img" border="0" src="http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png" alt="" />zə-</span><span class="prondelim">/</span> <a class="pronlink" onclick="pk = window.open('/help/luna/IPA_pron_key.html', 'PronunciationKey','height=700,width=560,left=0,top=0,resizable,scrollbars');if(pk){pk.focus();}" onmouseout="status='';return true;" onmouseover="status='Click for pronunciation key';return true;" title="Click for pronunciation key">Pronunciation Key</a><span class="pron_toggle" style="display:none;"><span class="prondelim"> - </span><a class="pronlink" onclick="javascript:show_sp()" onmouseout="status='';return true;" onmouseover="status='Click to toggle pronunciation';return true;" title="Click to show spelled pronunciation">Show Spelled Pronunciation</a></span></span><span class="show_spellpr" style="display:inline;"><span class="prondelim">[</span><span class="pron">bee-<b>el</b>-z<i>uh</i>-buhb, </span><span class="pron"><b>beel</b>-z<i>uh</i>-</span><span class="prondelim">]</span> <a class="pronlink" onclick="pk = window.open('/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html', 'PronunciationKey','height=700,width=560,left=0,top=0,resizable,scrollbars');if(pk){pk.focus();}" onmouseout="status='';return true;" onmouseover="status='Click for pronunciation key';return true;" title="Click for pronunciation key">Pronunciation Key</a><span class="pron_toggle" style="display:none;"><span class="prondelim"> - </span><a class="pronlink" onclick="javascript:show_ip()" onmouseout="status='';return true;" onmouseover="status='Click to toggle pronunciation';return true;" title="Click to show IPA pronunciation">Show IPA Pronunciation</a></span></span> </span><div class="body"><span class="pg">Ėnoun </span><table class="luna-Ent"><tr><td valign="top" class="dn">1.</td><td valign="top">the chief devil; Satan. </td></tr></table>

<table class="luna-Ent"><tr><td valign="top" class="dn">2.</td><td valign="top">a devil. </td></tr></table>

<table class="luna-Ent"><tr><td valign="top" class="dn">3.</td><td valign="top">(in Milton's <i>Paradise Lost</i>) one of the fallen angels, second only to Satan. </td></tr></table>

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<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td><span class="src"><cite>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)<br />Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, &copy; Random House, Inc. 2006.</cite></span></td></tr></table>

<!-- end luna -->
<span class="line"></span><!-- begin ahd4 -->
<span class="src"><a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/help/ahd4.html" title="Click for more information about this dictionary"><cite>American Heritage Dictionary</cite></a></span> - <span class="src"><a href="/cite.html?qh=beelzebub&amp;ia=ahd4" target="_blank">Cite This Source</a></span>
<!-- google_ad_region_start=def -->
<table><tbody><tr><td><b>Be∑el∑ze∑bub</b>&nbsp;&nbsp;<img src="http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/premium.gif" border="0" />&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="https://secure.reference.com/premium/login.html?rd=2&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdictionary.reference.com%2Fbrowse%2Fbeelzebub" target="_blank"><img src="http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/speaker.gif" border="0" /></a> &nbsp;&nbsp;(bē-ěl'zə-bŭb') &nbsp;<a title="Click for guide to symbols." onclick="ahdpop();return false;" href="http://cache.lexico.com/help/ahd4/pronkey.html" class="pronkey">Pronunciation Key</a>&nbsp;
<br />

Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:37 PM
You input special characters by using Unicode (UTF-8) which has just about every character in every language, including some dead languages and symbols. A list of all the characters is found at http://www.unicode.org/charts/.

The characters that you refer to are those with a macron (ˉ) and those with a breve (˘). You can look them up on Wikipedia if you want to copy and paste or otherwise learn about them. Otherwise, if using Windows XP, you can go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map to load the Character Map program. Then select a font, like Lucida Sans Unicode, that has the relevant characters. If you access Advanced View in the Character Map program, then you can search for characters by term (e.g., macron). When you click a character, the number in the lower left is hexadecimal and the number in the lower right is decimal. You can insert the characters into your documents by using numeric character references: &#x####; (hexadecimal) and &#####; (decimal). Some can also be accessed by name, as listed here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_XML_and_HTML_character_entity_references).

Of course, itís easier just to save your file with the right encoding so that they can be directly typed and are easier to read.

To get around the View Source thing in Internet Explorer, you should check to see if itís blocked on both the right‐click and View Menus. If it is, you can get at the source by going to File > Save AsÖ and change Save as type to Web Page, HTML only. Then you can just open the file in your favorite editor. You could also try upgrading to Internet Explorer 7 or use a different browser.

Mar 24th, 2007, 12:21 AM
Great. Just what I needed. Thanks for the answers, everyone. CodingForums rules! :thumbsup:

BTW, "Windows XP"? What's that? Did Microsoft finally out with a new operating system? :rolleyes:

Mar 24th, 2007, 12:29 AM
BTW, "Windows XP"? What's that? Did Microsoft finally out with a new operating system? :rolleyes:Not sure if youíre joking or not, but Windows Vista was released last year. Windows XP was released in 2001.

Mar 24th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Yeah I'm joking, and had I upgraded my problem would have been solved back then with Unicode fonts, six years ago.

It's just been hard to let go of my beloved 16-bit apps, like WordPerfect 6.1. (My favorite, though, was WordStar running on DR-DOS on a 286 with a daisywheel printer. You could do everything in that app from home row! "What? Now I have to move my right hand all the way to that mouse-thingy?" he said, upgrading to WP 5.2 with a tear running down his cheek.)

Yep, and my wife keeps griping about all these Houston Oilers collectables...