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Diaeresis (diacritic)

The diaeresis ( dy-ERR-ə-sis, -⁠EER-; also known as the trema) and the umlaut () are two different diacritical marks that (in modern usage) look alike. They both consist of two dots ¨ placed over a letter, usually a vowel; when that letter is an i or a j, the diacritic replaces the tittle: ï. In computer systems, both forms have the same code point (binary code). Their appearance in print or on screen may vary between typefaces but rarely within the same typeface. The "diaeresis" and the "umlaut" are diacritics marking two distinct phonological phenomena. The "diaeresis" diacritic is used to mark the separation of two distinct vowels in adjacent syllables when an instance of diaeresis (or hiatus) occurs, so as to distinguish from a digraph or diphthong. The "umlaut" diacritic, in contrast, indicates a sound shift phenomenon – also known as umlaut – in which a back vowel becomes a front vowel.Neither of these phenomena occur in English, except in loanwords (like naïve) or for stylistic reasons (as in the Brontë family or Mötley Crüe). These two diacritics have different origins, the diaeresis being considerably older. Nevertheless, in modern computer systems using Unicode, the umlaut and diaeresis diacritics are encoded identically. For example, U+00E4 ä LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH DIAERESIS represents both a-umlaut and a-diaeresis.



An emoticon (, ə-MOH-tə-kon, rarely , ih-MOTT-ih-kon), short for "emotion icon", also known simply as an emote, is a pictorial representation of a facial expression using characters—usually punctuation marks, numbers, and letters—to express a person's feelings, mood or reaction, or as a time-saving method. The first ASCII emoticons are generally credited to computer scientist Scott Fahlman, who proposed what came to be known as "smileys" – :-) and :-( – in a message on the bulletin board system (BBS) of Carnegie Mellon University in 1982. In Western countries, emoticons are usually written at a right angle to the direction of the text. Users from Japan popularized a kind of emoticon called kaomoji, utilizing the larger character sets required for Japanese, that can be understood without tilting one's head to the left. This style arose on ASCII NET of Japan in 1986.As SMS mobile text messaging and the Internet became widespread in the late 1990s, emoticons became increasingly popular and were commonly used in texting, Internet forums, and e-mails. Emoticons have played a significant role in communication through technology, and some devices and applications have provided stylized pictures that do not use text punctuation. They offer another range of "tone" and feeling through texting that portrays specific emotions through facial gestures while in the midst of text-based cyber communication. Emoticons were the precursors to modern emojis, which have been in a state of continuous development for a variety of digital platforms. Today over 90% of the world's online population uses emojis or emoticons.


Greek diacritics

Greek orthography has used a variety of diacritics starting in the Hellenistic period. The more complex polytonic orthography (Greek: πολυτονικό σύστημα γραφής, romanized: polytonikó sýstīma grafī́s), which includes five diacritics, notates Ancient Greek phonology. The simpler monotonic orthography (Greek: μονοτονικό σύστημα γραφής, romanized: monotonikó sýstīma grafīs), introduced in 1982, corresponds to Modern Greek phonology, and requires only two diacritics. Polytonic orthography (from Ancient Greek πολύς (polýs) 'much, many', and τόνος (tónos) 'accent') is the standard system for Ancient Greek and Medieval Greek. The acute accent (´), the circumflex (^), and the grave accent (`) indicate different kinds of pitch accent. The rough breathing (῾) indicates the presence of the /h/ sound before a letter, while the smooth breathing (᾿) indicates the absence of /h/. Since in Modern Greek the pitch accent has been replaced by a dynamic accent (stress), and /h/ was lost, most polytonic diacritics have no phonetic significance, and merely reveal the underlying Ancient Greek etymology. Monotonic orthography (from Ancient Greek μόνος (mónos) 'single', and τόνος (tónos) 'accent') is the standard system for Modern Greek. It retains two diacritics: a single accent or tonos (΄) that indicates stress, and the diaeresis ( ¨ ), which usually indicates a hiatus but occasionally indicates a diphthong: compare modern Greek παϊδάκια (/paiðaca/, "lamb chops"), with a diphthong, and παιδάκια (/peˈðaca/, "little children") with a simple vowel. A tonos and a diaeresis can be combined on a single vowel to indicate a stressed vowel after a hiatus, as in the verb ταΐζω (/taˈizo/, "to feed").


Rough breathing

In the polytonic orthography of Ancient Greek, the rough breathing (Ancient Greek: δασὺ πνεῦμα, romanized: dasỳ pneûma or δασεῖα daseîa; Latin: spīritus asper) character is a diacritical mark used to indicate the presence of an /h/ sound before a vowel, diphthong, or after rho. It remained in the polytonic orthography even after the Hellenistic period, when the sound disappeared from the Greek language. In the monotonic orthography of Modern Greek phonology, in use since 1982, it is not used at all. The absence of an /h/ sound is marked by the smooth breathing. The character, or those with similar shape such as U+02BB ʻ MODIFIER LETTER TURNED COMMA, have also been used for a similar sound by Thomas Wade (and others) in the Wade–Giles system of romanization for Mandarin Chinese. Herbert Giles and others have used a left (opening) curved single quotation mark for the same purpose; the apostrophe, backtick, and visually similar characters are often seen as well.


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