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David Carlisle writes:

>                                             But whether the internal
> canonical form is a unicode number or a latex style 7bit string \'e
> the issues of mapping between input encodings and this internal form,
> and from there to font encodings, are probably about the same.

But isn't \'e an abbreviation for \acute{e}, and don't the French
conceptualize it as an accented 'e'?  And isn't that a better way
to handle this particular thing when the author thinks of it as an
accented 'e' rather than as a different character?

I see \'e and \uE9 as formally different things, which probably should
be typeset the same way by TeX in this case since \uE9 is a legacy
hack for handling \'e .

                                    -- Bill