A Compulsory Edit : I'm using this "s/he" thing quite a few times in the thesis. I've noticed that ⚧ (transgender unicode symbol) is even in the Unicode list, so I thought this might be a nice addition.
I'm not really losing sleep over it but it would have been nice if such a generic ligature was available maybe even for legal text. Probably in the end, I'll get tired and remove every single copy of it with a he and have a beer afterwards and write mean comments about vegetarian diet on Youtube.
Hence what I could have used in place for s/he is not important, take it as a pure typography challenge regardless of its use.
I find myself often grinding my teeth I need to keep this gender neutral thing in mind... even though I have no belief for its purpose. I can understand and respect the movement of increasing consciousness but over time, this showed only inconvenience rather than its original intended purpose. Maybe a genuine neutral pronoun is better but I don't know anything about linguistics so nevermind, I digress. ( for alternating use of
her etc. automatically, look at Alan Munn's
I'm thinking of a standalone ligature for handling this once and for all in my document. Initially I've tried to make the slash a little more pleasing but due to the geometry of
h, forward slash is blocked by the extender of
h and backwards is sticking out.
Question : Can you please propose alternatives that would serve as a general ligature that can be applied to as many mainstream fonts as possible? I can cook up my own version for a specific font if the idea is generally applicable to any font. It would be really great if it works with PDFLaTeX but it's not a deal-breaker.
Examples : Font-specific tricks such as hiding
s in the serif of
h, .... (a failed attempt)
Letter-cropping-based ones : Well, I can't believe how ugly it turned out to be but for the sake of argument, here it is (butchered via TikZ):
Slash-based overwrites (also butchered via TikZ)
st and ct type ligatures, from wikipedia (I'd better not touch that)
and many more. Excuse my current lack of imagination but, it wouldn't do much good anyway if compared to our font experts here.