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Superscript historically uncommon in English typography
I've been told by some typography folks that the superscript ordinal indicators in English are not really the historical usage, except for a specific period of time. Basically, they used to be written on the line, then for about 100 years during the Victorian era were superscripted, then the superscripts were dropped, and now with Word's auto-superscripting they're making somewhat of a resurgence, to the dismay of typographers who had hoped that particular bit of poor Victorian design was gone for good. --Delirium 06:06, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
I contest the statement that the Spanish/Portugese/Italian ordinal indicators are deprecated by the Unicode consortium. The referenced note says, of superscripted characters in general (making specific reference to numbers): "Using these characters directly in markup provides an alternate representation compared to marked up text, leading to different treatment by search engines. However, when super and sub-scripts are to reflect semantic distinctions, it is easier to work with these meanings encoded in text rather than markup, for example, in phonetic or phonemic transcription." This leaves the question of which representation is more suitable specifically for ordinal indicators open. --Ahruman 09:50, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree - I've deleted the text (although I wouldn't be opposed to putting it back if there was a reference that actually deprecated them). DopefishJustin 04:31, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Interesting. So Unicode does not take sides on whether to use markup on a regular letter, or just use the special characters, when indicating an ordinal. But what about when not indicating an ordinal? Is the use of the characters discouraged for abbreviation situations like the numero sign in English? It seems unwise to use them so, but it's very tempting for some folks, I've noticed. —mjb 20:31, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
It is common in handwriting. In print, underlining ordinal suffixes or anything else is abominated for three reasons: it makes the text hard to read, it spoils the appearance of the page, and in manual typesetting it is hard to underline text. Sicherman (talk) 14:03, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
In the French section it states "The suffix º is used for terms like primo, secundo, and tertio as 1º, 2º, and 3º" I was taught this usage at school and college for primary, secondary, tertiary in English - it isn't a solely French thing. The Yowser (talk) 14:07, 5 March 2012 (UTC)