quote from the website
We're All Special Characters
We love us some ISO 8879. In addition to setting the groundwork for XML, it also allowed us to insert silly characters into our .sig files. We bet Subcommittee 34 of Joint Technical Committee 1 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) never anticipated that. Or they probably would have officially formed a working group to deprecate the use of silly characters purely as decoration.
Where would we be without ISO public identifier ISO 8879:1986//ENTITIES Publishing//EN//XML? Ellipses would just be three periods. We'd have to use the number two, a slash, and the number three to represent two-thirds. The em dash and en dash would be lumped together under the character "hyphen." That's no way to live. Viva la ISO 8879!
I ♥ ISO 8879 is printed in white and red on a black, 100% cotton t-shirt.