Superscript letters for number words

Brown Fox's picture

Dear Typophiles,

I'm looking into the convention of languages which set superscript letters in relation to number words (not sure if this the right word).

Few examples below:

ENG
1st, 2nd, 5th

FR
1er, 2e

NL
2e

Can someone refer to a complete list? There most be more.
Also, are their any opentype fonts, which have these as superscript glyphs?

Thanks for letting me know!

Jallanite's picture

In French the letters used to indicate the ordinal form of a number are usually made superscript. In English, they are not usually superscript. However Microsoft Word decided to set their word processor to automatically superscript the letters in ordinal numbers and so now ordinal numbers using superscript characters are more common on the web and perhaps even in printed text.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinal_indicator for information on ordinal indicators in a number of languages that use the Latin script.

Unicode does not include all possible superscript characters for Latin, as the Unicode consortium considers superscripting (and subscripting) to be a style variant, like bolding and italicizing and underlining. Superscript characters are only included in Unicode when the character is to be distinguished from its full-size counterpart in phonetic writing.

Otherwise every character in Unicode would have to also appear in superscript and subscript form, and in a superscript of the superscript form and subscript of the superscript from, and in a subscript of the subscript form and a superscript of the subscript form, and so on, ad infinitum.

For a complete listing of pre-built superscript characters in Unicode see http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/search.htm?q=superscript&pr... and http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/search.htm?q=modifier&previ... .

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