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Michael Everson in Isfahan in 2005.

Michael Everson (born January 9, 1963) is a linguist, script encoder, typesetter, and font designer. His central area of expertise is with writing systems of the world, specifically in the representation of these systems in formats for computer and digital media. He holds both American and Irish citizenship.

He has been described as "probably the world's leading expert in the computer encoding of scripts"[1] for his work to add a wide variety of scripts and characters to the Universal Character Set. Since 1993, he has written over two hundred proposals[2] which have added thousands of characters to ISO/IEC 10646 and The Unicode Standard.



Everson was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and moved to Tucson, Arizona at the age of 12. His interest in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien led him to study Old English and then other Germanic languages. He read German, Spanish, and French for his B.A. at the University of Arizona (1985), and the History of Religions and Indo-European linguistics for his M.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles (1988). In 1989, his former professor Marija Gimbutas asked him to read a paper on Basque mythology at an Indo-Europeanist Conference held in Ireland; shortly thereafter he moved to Dublin, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar in the Faculty of Celtic Studies, University College Dublin (1991). He became a naturalized Irish citizen in 2000. He currently lives in Lecanvey, west of Westport, County Mayo. He is a nontheistic Buddhist.


Everson is active in supporting minority-language communities, especially in the fields of character encoding standardization and internationalization. In addition to being one of the primary contributing editors of the Unicode Standard, he is also a contributing editor to ISO/IEC 10646, registrar for ISO 15924[3], and subtag reviewer for BCP 47. He has contributed to the encoding of many scripts and characters in those standards, receiving the Unicode "Bulldog" Award in 2000[4] for his technical contributions to the development and promotion of the Unicode Standard. In 2004, Everson was appointed convenor of ISO TC46/WG3 (Conversion of Written Languages), which is responsible for transliteration standards.

Everson has been actively involved in the encoding of many scripts[5] in the Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 standards, including Avestan, Balinese, Bamum, Braille, Buginese, Buhid, Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, Carian, Cham, Cherokee, Coptic, Cuneiform, Cypriot, Deseret, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Ethiopic, Georgian, Glagolitic, Gothic, Hanunóo, Imperial Aramaic, Inscriptional Pahlavi, Inscriptional Parthian, Javanese, Kayah Li, Khmer, Lepcha, Limbu, Linear B, Lycian, Lydian, Meitei Mayek, Mongolian, Myanmar, New Tai Lue, N'Ko, Ogham, Ol Chiki, Old Italic, Old Persian, Old South Arabian, Old Turkic, Osmanya, Phaistos Disc, Phoenician, Rejang, Runic, Samaritan, Saurashtra, Shavian, Sinhala, Sundanese, Tagalog, Tagbanwa, Tai Le, Tai Tham, Thaana, Tibetan, Ugaritic, Vai, and Yi, as well as many characters belonging to the Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, and Arabic scripts.

Together with John Cowan, he is also responsible for the ConScript Unicode Registry, a project to coordinate the mapping of artificial scripts into the Unicode Private Use Area. Among the scripts "encoded" in the CSUR, Shavian and Deseret were eventually formally adopted into Unicode; two other conscripts under consideration are Tolkien's scripts of Tengwar and Cirth.

Everson has also created locale and language information for many languages, from support for the Irish language and the other Celtic languages to the minority languages of Finland[6]. In 2000, together with Trond Trosterud, he co-authored Software localization into Nynorsk Norwegian, a report commissioned by the Norwegian Language Council. In 2003 he was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to prepare a report[7] on the computer locale requirements for the major languages of Afghanistan (Pashto, Dari, and Uzbek), co-authored by Roozbeh Pournader, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Communications of the Afghan Transitional Islamic Administration[8]. More recently, UNESCO's Initiative B@bel[9] funded Everson's work to encode the N'Ko and Balinese scripts[10].

He also has a particular interest in Gaelic typeface design, and does a considerable amount of work typesetting books in Irish [11]. In 1995 he designed the Unicode font, Everson Mono, a monospaced typeface with more than 4,800 characters. This font was the third Unicode-encoded font to contain a large number of characters from many character blocks, after Lucida Sans Unicode and Unihan font (both 1993).

In 2007 he co-authored a proposal for a new standard written form of Cornish, called Kernowek Standard.[12]


  1. ^ Erard, Michael (2003-09-25). "For the World's ABC's, He Makes 1's and 0's". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-23.  
  2. ^ Michael Everson (2007-01-27). "Papers formally submitted to the Unicode Technical Committee and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2". Evertype.  
  3. ^ "ISO 15924 Registration Authority". ISO, Unicode, Inc., & Evertype. 2004.  
  4. ^ "The Bulldog Award". Unicode, Inc..  
  5. ^ Michael Everson (2009-03-19). "Papers formally submitted to the Unicode Technical Committee and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 (Universal Character Set)". Evertype.  
  6. ^ Michael Everson (1997-03-14). "Sami locales". Evertype.  
  7. ^ Everson, Michael; Roozbeh Pournader (2003-07-29). "Computer Locale Requirements for Afghanistan" (PDF). Evertype.  
  8. ^ Marc Lepage (APRIL–JUNE 2003). "Afghans beat language obstacle to entering digital age" (PDF). Poverty Alleviation Initiatives (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) 13 (2).  
  9. ^ UNESCO B@bel Initiative
  10. ^ "Development of a Unicode standard for the West African Language N'ko". Multilingualism in Cyberspace. UNESCO. 2004-11-12.  
  11. ^ Michael Everson (2006-10-05). "Books typeset by Michael Everson". Evertype.  
  12. ^ A proposed standard written form of Cornish

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