The meaning of the word: Nad've

Is it nad've or naïve?

The meaning of the word: Nad've
From the Little Prince

Recently, when I was reading The Little Prince, I came across the word "naďve".

"Flowers are weak creatures. They are naďve. They reassure themselves as best they can. They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons..."

By context, I took the word to be an alternate spelling of "naïve". Considering how many English words have multiple spellings, some not even matching the phonetic pronunciation, I took that to be the case here as well. To confirm my suspicions, I took to Google and searched for the word.

I found no acknowledgement of the word being an alternate spelling. In fact, the word "naďve" is actually a misspelling of "naïve" caused due to a computer decoding error. It seems that the word has been garbled as the result of the text being decoded using an unintended character encoding.

Basically, ï has an associated code point 239 in Windows-1252 and Latin-1, two encodings commonly used for English and Western European languages. However, encodings Windows-1250 and Latin-2, used for Central European languages, also define the code point 239, but with an associated character ď. Thus all occurrences of ï can get replaced with ď.

"It's interesting to see how a computer error could have almost created a new word, if it weren't for Unicode to stop the confusion of tongues."

In the era of AI, where Chat GPT hallucinates words and facts, it is strange to look back at a simpler time in computer history, where simple character encodings messed up to generate a new spelling of a word. I am guessing that this word has been added to the dictionary in the minds of many readers of this edition of the The Little Prince. I wonder if other editions also have this mistake and perhaps, this word would end up actually becoming an alternate spelling of naïve.

How naďve of me!

Thanks to IS4 for putting a rest to the mystery on Stack Exchange.