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A linguistic mystery [May. 22nd, 2006|10:32 pm]
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Some time ago, something happened to my browser at work, and now, whenever it encounters greek letters, instead of displaying them normally (that is, as greek letters), it displays them in some weird mystery alphabet. I went trolling through various webpages trying to identify it, but to no avail.

So I'm wondering: does anyone know what lanaguage this is? And for special bonus points, can you tell my why my browser (Firefox, running on linux) has decided that it likes this alphabet better than the normal Greek one, and how I might persuade it to change its mind back?

And if nobody can identify it, well, here, at least I can give you some entertainment: look at this wacky alphabet!

strange alphabet

[User Picture]From: flwyd
2006-05-23 12:01 pm (UTC)


Is one of these sets not like the other?

α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω


The first set are HTML entities, the second set are unicode characters copied from GNOME's Character Map program. Incidentally, the glyphs shown don't look like the Syriac set in my Character Map...
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-05-23 12:51 pm (UTC)

Re: Experiment

Nope. They're both showing up as Syriac or whatever. (Well, the first set has spaces and the second does not.)

Here's some interesting additional data, though. My notification email, when read in MH, displays the second set as latin-1 garbage (capital-I umlaut, upside-down questionmark, plus-minus sign, etc.). When shown with "more" or emacs, they show up as equals-CE equals-B1, etc. The first set, of course, show up as ampersand-xi-semicolon and such.

However, if I rename the email message foo.html and open it up with firefox, I get the second set showing up as equals-CE, etc., and the first set shows up as Syriac letters!

Moreover, if I run Mozilla, it does the same thing as firefox, while konqueror shows them all as greek letters. I think that means it's definitely firefox/mozilla being confused about how to display greek letters, and not something weird with fontpaths on my system or anything like that.
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[User Picture]From: flwyd
2006-05-23 09:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Experiment

In the first case it's rendering HTML into (presumably) unicode; in the second case it's displaying unicode directly. Maybe it's slipped into the wrong charset encoding (Windows 1251 instead of UTF-8 or something?).
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-05-24 01:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Experiment

Here's something even wackier:

Some of the letters show up as normal Greek, not Syriac, if they're in italics!

These look normal: α δ ε π σ τ φ

These look weird: β γ ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο ρ υ χ ψ ω
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