Guess what this mystery character is used for ?

August 30, 2007
Today I came across an interesting blog post related to a mystery character. The character in question is the one shown below.

Fig: Picture of the mystery character.

Let's see what effect this mystery character has when it is cut and pasted in different text fields....

Fig: Firefox address bar

Fig: Pasted inside Gimp

As you can see, after this character is pasted, all the succeeding text is typed backwards from right to left. Really strange.

The closest valid explanation that was made was the following comment made by Charlie Halpern in the afore mentioned blog. And I quote ...
As noted about, the backwards type comes from the other characters, not from the circle of commas. The circle of commas (҉) is the Unicode character U+0489 COMBINING CYRILLIC MILLIONS SIGN. It actually is supposed to combine with the character before it, surrounding it with them crazy commas. It is a historic character that isn’t much in current use. See this pdf document for more details.
Note: For this unique magic to work, the program into which you paste this symbol should support unicode. For example, pasting this symbol in an 8-bit Ascii software such as Windows Notepad or Internet Explorer will display a series of gibberish.