Unicode Symbol for โ€œe.g.โ€ (exempli gratia)

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Just replaced all occurrences of โ€œe.g.โ€ in my writings to โ€œโ„ฏโ„Šโ€. There's about one thousand replacements.

Why? The โ€œfull stopโ€ (aka โ€œperiodโ€) symbol should be used only for sentence end, full stop! Ideally, each symbol should have only one single purpose, context free. So, i want to get rid of the dots in โ€œe.g.โ€, but writing just โ€œegโ€ is a bit intrusive. That is, it's not easy to understand.

So, a better solution is to find a standard symbol that represent the โ€œe.g.โ€. For example, in Letterlike Symbols (Unicode block).

  • โ„€ โ„ โ„‚ โ„ƒ โ„„ โ„… โ„† โ„‡ โ„ˆ โ„‰ โ„Š โ„‹ โ„Œ โ„ โ„Ž โ„ โ„ โ„‘ โ„’ โ„“ โ„” โ„• โ„– โ„— โ„˜ โ„™ โ„š โ„› โ„œ โ„ โ„ž โ„Ÿ โ„  โ„ก โ„ข โ„ฃ โ„ค โ„ฅ ฮฉ โ„ง โ„จ โ„ฉ K ร… โ„ฌ โ„ญ โ„ฎ โ„ฏ โ„ฐ โ„ฑ โ„ฒ โ„ณ โ„ด โ„ต โ„ถ โ„ท โ„ธ โ„น โ„บ โ„ป โ„ผ โ„ฝ โ„พ โ„ฟ โ…€ โ… โ…‚ โ…ƒ โ…„ โ…… โ…† โ…‡ โ…ˆ โ…‰ โ…Š โ…‹ โ…Œ โ… โ…Ž โ…
  • [see Unicode Search ๐Ÿ˜„]

    Been trying to find a dedicated Unicode symbol for the Latin โ€œexempli gratiaโ€, but it doesn't seem to exist.

    Then, i tried several alternatives, but none are satisfactory. Replacing them by full word โ€œfor exampleโ€ is too long. And โ€œexampleโ€ is also too long, but also there the meaning is slightly different. โ€œe.g.โ€ is โ€œfor exampleโ€, and usually followed by short concrete examples. While, โ€œExampleโ€, is more of a single full example.

    Then, i thought of the abbrev โ€œexโ€. It's not good because it has too many meanings. For example, it may read as the letter X, which is a common name to many things (for example: Xmas, X-man, X-window, eXtreme, etc), and can mean like โ€œex-boyfriendโ€. The โ€œex.โ€ itself has a ending dot issue. The โ€œex.โ€ itself isn't in common practice.

    Also tried the Unicode arrow:

    โžฒ (U+27B2: CIRCLED HEAVY WHITE RIGHTWARDS ARROW).

    For example, โ€œmany fruits have color yellow (โžฒ banana, pineapple.)โ€. But this is cryptic in becoming, the approachment of symbolic logic.

    So, for now, i've settled on โ€œโ„ฏโ„Šโ€. So far, my feeling towards it is it's not bad.

    Actually, the use of โ€œe.g.โ€ is kinda passรฉ. It's mostly used in academic writing, and i think it also dwindled in past 2 decades. It's there because scientific publications used to be in Latin โ€” the lingua franca of science (as French for the elite, aristocrats, and English for the plebeians, philistines.). I picked up โ€œe.g.โ€ in the early 1990s, when i was reading lots math. Then, i noticed in past few years, i developed a particular style of writing, with lots nested parenthesis and lots โ€œe.g.โ€ inside parenthesis (example: like this (or even this!)). However, โ€œe.g.โ€ is one of those fart of highbrowism. i.e. you don't need it, really. (and you don't need โ€œi.e.โ€ neither. (they are there to make a impression on readers about your erudition, most excellently done by academicians)) In my writings, there are 2 types. One is technical exposition (example: my programing tutorials). There, i wish to impart info without the nonsense of belles-lettres. The other type, is essays, aka rants, where i sway and spin run-on sentences and whatnot to convey, insult, expose, ridicule. So, in my tech writing, there's really no place for โ€œe.g.โ€, but i've already used it a lot and find it convenient. A real better solution that fits my principle is to completely get rid of any โ€œe.g.โ€ in my tech writings. Rewrite to avoid it, or simply spell out โ€œFor example, โ€ฆโ€. O, but that's so verbose. Maybe i'll decide to do that in the future. (the one advantage of using unique symbol for unique meaning is that i can simply replace all occurrence of โ€œโ„ฏโ„Šโ€ to โ€œfor exampleโ€ if i decide to do so in the future. (except when it happens in meta-usage, like this page.))

    screenshot 2019-06-07 fv6mv
    example of article with โ€œโ„ฏโ„Šโ€

    also of interest is that, in Google Chrome or Safari browser, you can type just โ€œegโ€ and it'll find โ€œโ„ฏโ„Šโ€. See: Unicode Character Equivalence Support in Web Browsers .

    Symbols for โ€œe.g.โ€

    Other symbols to consider

    Here is how they look like in normal sized font: โ‘ โ• โ˜ โ™ โ› โœ โฅต โฅฑ.

    Prosody, Symbols, Idiosyncrasy

    About a month ago, i decided to replace all use of โ€œe.g.โ€ on my site to the Unicode โ€œโ„ฏโ„Šโ€.

    But now, it's like The Tell-Tale Heart, i confess, i can no longer tolerate my incorrect use of symbols. The scripted e โ„ฏ is usually used for Euler's number in math. The scripted g โ„Š has no popular designated meaning. They in no way means โ€œexempli gratiaโ€. So, now i decided to replace them all to the more symbolic

    โ– U+2056: THREE DOT PUNCTUATION

    My writing's already filled with willful eyesore to the establishment. [see The Writing Style of Xah Lee] What's with just one more symbolic idiosyncrazy?

    but i take console that i'm in the same class as Stanislaw Szukalski, Robert Crumb, Jonathan Swift, [ Friedrich Nietzsche ] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche ], [ Leo Tolstoy ] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Tolstoy ]. No doubt.

    The Failure of Flying Against Convention

    Update

    In 2013, I replaced all โ€œe.g.โ€ to the Unicode โ– (U+2056: THREE DOT PUNCTUATION), in my articles.

    Now, i replaced all back. Mostly to โ€œfor exampleโ€.

    Reason: against convention is just not gonna fly. And, for Search Engine Optimization issue, search engine don't like it.

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