too much typing—since 2003


they at least could have substituted Prince's old name...

So I fire up my computer at my non-academic job this morning, and Windows XP tells me there are two "critical" updates. One has something to do with some flaw or other (typical...), but the other informs me that "unacceptable characters" have been "discovered" in the Bookshelf 7 font. I'm not sure if the exact word was "discovered," but it was something to that effect: an odd word choice, considering that fonts are designed, not found beneath a rock or leaning against a tree. Curious, I looked at the font's character set...and had a pretty good idea what character was "unacceptable." The designer had included, amongst other doodads and wingdings, a swastika. Now I personally can't think of any situation in which I'd need to type a swastika, but I suppose such a situation might arise even for someone who's not a neo-fascist. Anyway, just to compare I printed out the old font's character set before installing the new one.

After I'd installed the new version of the font, I was surprised to note that the swastika was not the only character removed. Apparently, someone had decided that another glyph - the Star of David - was also "unacceptable." While I also can't think of a situation in which I'd need to type a Star of David, it seemed odd to call it "unacceptable" and pair it with a swastika. Is this Microsoft's bizarre idea of "equal time"? Did they want to forestall mail from Nazis claiming that, hey, if you removed the swastika, why are you keeping the Star of David? Very strange - and rather sad, in that I can't imagine there was a huge amount of pressure coming at Microsoft about these characters, since the fonts are rarely used.

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