Ever studied a foreign language whose Romanised syllables or vowels do not make sense without the inclusion of a macron? I for one haven’t. But let us consider Pinyin-the official Romanisation of Mandarin Chinese- syllable [ma] for instance. Depending on the macron above it which obviously dictates the tone and consequently the meaning, it could stand for the following nouns; mother, hemp (something to do with the cannabis plant apparently) or horse. It might as well mean scold (not the fishwife) - the verb. Anyway, that is beside the point. You see, a macron denotes exoticness; a form of phonetic idiosyncrasy calling for conventionalisation; never simple but is out-and-out normal like the French Macron.

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