thanks for all the comments.
It makes sense to me to reserve "bidi" to describe the type of rendering
needed and not to use it as an adjective for the script.
I agree that foreign words and the use of european digits represents use of an
alternative scripts rather than being part of the script under discussion.

I guess I have been seeing "bidi" used to describe scripts with the meaning of
those "needing the Unicode bidirectional algorithm".

I'll revamp the faq.

I know that Arabic numbers when written with Hindi digits is LTR. Is the same
true for Hebrew when using Hebrew digits? ie. Does Hebrew place most
significant digits leftmost or rightmost?


John Cowan wrote:
> Peter T. Daniels scripsit:
> > What a lame excuse. If a word in another script is dropped into the
> > first script, the first script doesn't become "bidirectional"! If it
> > did, why wouldn't the same apply to a passage in English with a Hebrew
> > word dropped in, as is often found in discussions of biblical text?
> Indeed. We should rightly speak not of bidirectional scripts (still less
> bidirectional languages) but of bidirectional rendering, and which scripts
> (and, a fortiori, languages) require it. It turns out that in practice
> texts written in RTL scripts always require bidirectional rendering,
> for processing numbers if nothing else, whereas LTR scripts can often
> get along with LTR-only rendering, although bidirectional rendering is
> of course required for full generality.
> On a related topic: I have heard several Persian-speakers say that when
> handwriting it is customary to write numbers LTR with the most significant
> digit written first, as is done in Hebrew. But I have not been able
> to determine if the same is true when writing Arabic, or if the least
> significant digit is written first. Does anybody know?
> --
> John Cowan jcowan@...
> I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths
> led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen. I am the clue-finder,
> the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number. --Bilbo
> - world's writing systems.
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