Glyph of the Week

Deutsche Version



visible shape: 2x2 px / total advance width: 3px

Glyph: ¸ Name: cedilla Unicode: 00B8


2017-09-11 Week 37/2017 posted by RFI

The cedilla – ¸ – was once a letter z. It had a complicated relationship with the letter c. After sitting next to each other for a while, they became a digraph in the Kingdom of Castile. Initially, the z was featured very prominently in writing and the c was just a curl, but a change was looming. It may or may not have been due to older, long-standing traditions that the c became to be regarded as the more relatable of the pair, a familiar face from home, while the z was seen as a foreign modifier. In the fateful hands of time, the c was reinstated as a letter while the z now aged into a wry and wrinkly shape. Made into a cedilla, it eventually grew into disregard in the Castilian tongue. However, many of the neighboring languages, notably French and Portuguese, were long intrigued by the cedilla's exotic aspiration and kept the c-cedilla pair. Even though it remained tiny in size, its proper representation became a significant point of pride. After some time, even distant languages such as Turkish noticed the cedilla and introduced it to other letters. It went on to become a noteworthy diacritical mark, selected for the second tier of Unicode characters. To this day, it appears alongside many letters in many languages, as well as on its own.

INFO: Code point 00B8 is specifically for the presentation of an unjoined cedilla. On its own, it appears a bit bigger than in combination with letters. Carefully precomposed forms are available for all common letters with cedilla. With a suitable keyboard layout, they will be chosen automatically.

[Cz C¸ Ç. Maritime cliff texture.]

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