This is your occasional reminder that there is a character in Unicode that exists solely to encode the one time a monk doodled a little cluster of eyes in the middle of the phrase "manyꙮeyed seraphim".

let its septocular gaze fall upon you, and pray

@anthracite Psalms and the entire Ketuvim kicks! As for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had almost slipped. Then I remembered about these fantastic Ghost Characters:

@anthracite here's my favorite mysterious unicode character: ⍼

@anthracite i've never seen anyone find a reasonable use for this character or a reason it's in the block it's in, and the only thing it actually this.

@zoe @anthracite

That looks like it'd be fun to use as a fictional currency character.

"Let's see, six fredweights of dried dispa leaf... that'll come to ⍼117.398."
"By Grugnort, all I have is ⍼100. I'll just take five then."

@zoe OMG I just spent an unreasonable amount of time digging through unicode docs looking for its origin. Typically new characters would be described in the official UAX document for the unicode version, but this one just... isn't?

/ @anthracite

@zoe After an unreasonable amount of digging, I found it! The UAX references ISO 9573-13 as well as a STIX project collecting glyphs used in scientific publishing. The STIX tables refer to a character 2376 as "angzarr" which leads to this MathML page:

/ @anthracite

@zoe MathML seem to be saying they got it from that ISO standard. The best I can figure is that Unicode also got it from there (possibly via STIX and/or MathML work). ISO may provide deeper sources, but they charge bigg buxx for their standards:

/ @anthracite

@zoe If you don't want to shell out to ISO (I certainly don't), the STIX docs link the glyph to several other character sets and standards, some of which might be more searchable.

/ @anthracite

@epilanthanomai @zoe

damn that's some nice researching! If any of those source sets/standards predate 2004 then we can assume it is *not* someone sneaking Ellis into a character set for laughs.


I just managed to find a PDF of what I think is that ISO standard - that includes Ellis/angzarr/⍼ and it is from late 2003. Which is *right* on the border of "well Ellis was developed around 2004 by nerds and she could have gotten in there".

There is, of course, no source for this glyph's inclusion. I did not expect there to be one. It just lurks there in the middle of a table called "9573-13-isoamsa". Which is just pointing back to... this very same ISO standard.

It is just There.

@anthracite @epilanthanomai yeah, i forgot to mention the whole "I've been literally chasing this unicode character and have been unable to find what or why it exists" thing which is why it's my favorite weird character
It is just a straight up mystery how what very much appears to be a sigil is just there

@zoe @epilanthanomai

In the absence of anyone digging up a copy of the ISO standard it appears to maybe have first appeared in I think I am just gonna assume it got in there via a casual reality edit.

@anthracite @zoe Also if you wanna see the glyph itself in an earlier doc, the MathML link a few responses up is from 1999.

@anthracite "rare glyph"

[david attenborough voice] only once ever 137 years, this rare creature can be sighted in ...

@anthracite And yet it took us how long to get CC symbols in unicode?

@anthracite the monk didn't just doodle it in the middle of a phrase. He used it instead of a regular "o" in the slavic word for "-eyed" which is "-oki"

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