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A Unicode combining mark combines with a preceding character. When used as stand-alone, it would combine unintentionally with a preceding character (possibly a space):
- Diacritic ̂ used stand alone between regular spaces
- Diacritic ◌̂ used after a character
Using the generic dotted circle character also shows the relative positioning of the diacritic.
- "Chapter 17. About the Code Charts" (PDF). The Unicode Standard. Version 6.2. Unicode, Inc. 2012-09-26. p. 273. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
Combining characters are shown with a dotted circle. [...] the relative position of the dotted circle indicates an [...] approximate location of the base character in relation to the combining mark. [...]
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