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You'll find that this system is still in use even today. GNU roff, for example, in non-UTF-8 locales with a terminal as the output device renders the bullets in bulleted lists as a "+" overstruck by an "o" to give a crossed circle.

And the manual systems on the BSDs and on Linux operating systems still use TeleType Model 37 overstriking semantics for boldface and underlining, even though (for starters) GNU grotty has been capable of the more modern (from 1976!) system of specifying character attributes on terminals for decades.

* https://sources.debian.org/src/groff/1.22.3-10/tmac/tty.tmac...

* http://jdebp.info./Proposals/ul-manual-page.html

* http://jdebp.info./Softwares/nosh/italics-in-manuals.html

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