1209: Encoding

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I don't see how; the C0 block is right there at the beginning.
Title text: I don't see how; the C0 block is right there at the beginning.

[edit] Explanation

Cueball and Megan hired a skywriter to write some text provided in Unicode. Skywriting is using an airplane to write words in the sky with controlled releases of smoke. Unicode is a standard for encoding text which supports an incredible variety of characters and modifiers. An interrobang (‽) is a combination question mark and exclamation mark. A diacritic is any symbol added to a character ( ´ , ˘ , ˇ , ¨ , etc.), usually an accent mark being added to a letter. In Unicode, combining diacritics are represented as separate characters, but are rendered graphically as modifications to the previous one. The request appears to be particularly strange, given that diacritics are supposed to go over letters and not punctuation marks.

Apparently the skywriter got so confused about their instructions that he not only rendered the text incorrectly, but also lost control of the plane. The skywriter's errors and the phrase "Unicode support" play off the common issue of software rendering Unicode symbols incorrectly.

The title text refers to the C0 Block, the name for the first 32 character codes in Unicode (and ASCII), traditionally called control characters. Cueball wonders how the plane could have lost "control" when the "control characters" are easily found.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball and Megan are holding two-way radios.]
Cueball: No, the combining diacritics go over the interrobang!
Megan: Oh jeez, I think he's lost control.
The skywriter we hired has terrible Unicode support.

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He may have lost control whilst trying to fly in squares... What‽ --DanB (talk) 13:36, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

I've always thought that "interrobang" was one of the coolest words in the English language. Don't ya think?! --Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 15:32, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Coolest? Not the coolest, but a good word by some other measure, certainly. I might as well insist that... thingummy... oh... whatsit... ah, yes, that's it... "Lethology" is as cool. 00:51, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

I think the "C0 Block" text may also be a skywriting double meaning, as skywriters use something called "Corvus Oil" to make the smoke. 18:27, 8 May 2013 (UTC) Dustin

Saying that the C0 block ‘is there’ makes me think that the skywriter already wrote it; perhaps they hired the skywriter to write out all of Unicode in order‽ The interrobang is followed by a diacritic (overline), but unfortunately it's not combining. (The combining overline comes later.) —TobyBartels (talk) 20:02, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Just from real life

Many of the web servers I am responsible for are using [[1]EBCDIC]. Browsers are on [[2]ASCII].

I can tell you that this is the hell.

--Dgbrt (talk) 20:38, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

"Skytyping" uses five or more planes flying in formation to skywrite in a dot-matrix format. It is computer controlled, so it really could have codepage issues. 23:36, 11 May 2013 (UTC)


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