it won't hold all the characters
for the common case (ASCII compatible characters), it's wasteful enough of space to actually cause a performance impact
after several tries they actually got it right with UTF8, it devolves to the same as plain ASCII, but can represent the other characters as needed. It's ownly drawback is that you can't know how long the string will be when it's displayed without walking the entire string (but then again, unless you use a fixed width font, you can't know this whatever the encoding, so it's not really a significant issue)
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