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Unicode Demystified by Richard Gillam

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Chapter 1. Language, Computers, and Unicode

Words are amazing, marvelous things. They have the power both to build up and to tear down great civilizations. Words make us who we are. Indeed, many have observed that our use of language is what separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans have the capacity for symbolic thought, the ability to think about and discuss things we cannot immediately see or touch. Language is our chief symbolic system for doing this. Consider even a fairly simple concept such as “There is water over the next hill.” Without language, this idea would be an extraordinarily difficult thing to convey.

There's been a lot of talk in recent years about “information.” We face an “information explosion” and live ...

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