The style and appearance of printed matter. The art or procedure of arranging type.

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8
votes
3answers
202 views

The rise of “all of the”

In the following graph, the long s accounts for the sudden rise in frequency of most of the; if you search for moft of the, the lines match up nicely. But what would be behind the sudden increase in ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is “de facto” often written in italic?

Often when I see "de facto" written somewhere it is in italic. For example: LaTeX website: LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system; it includes features designed for the production of ...
32
votes
5answers
3k views

When should I not use a ligature in English typesetting?

Typesetting that goes beyond the scope of basic MS Word (e.g. LaTeX, or even modern Word versions with a good OpenType font) often uses ligatures for certain glyph combinations, the most common being ...
8
votes
2answers
132 views

Is there a term for authorial name expurgation?

In 19th century English texts, but also seen elsewhere (e.g. Heller's Catch-22) there is a practice of omitting part of a name such as: I was going to visit Mrs. P___, but decided to remain at ...
20
votes
3answers
385 views

What are the names of the pieces of a question mark?

A question mark ? seems to be composed of two distinct pieces, top and bottom. Do these pieces have their own names, and if so, what are they?
4
votes
3answers
500 views

Is the word “formulæ” valid English?

Is the word formulæ, written with an æ at the end, valid in English? I stumbled upon this apparently plural form of formula in the Wiktionary. I had no idea the letter æ could occur in English. Does ...
1
vote
1answer
393 views

Why do we write the name of Judges in a strange way?

I did a bit of law when I was in school, and recently, I recalled a unique feature of the law system regarding the way the names of judges were written, especially those with the title of Justice. ...
25
votes
2answers
9k views

Use of “f ” instead of “s” in historic, printed English documents

I was at a museum in London yesterday, and one of the items on exhibit is a document from the eighteenth century. It uses the letter f a lot where s should be used—for example, in Majefty. Did the ...
3
votes
1answer
594 views

Why typography? Why not fontography?

Typography is the art of selecting and using appropriate fonts in web, books, magazines, newspapers, etc., and is one of the most fundamental graphical design skills. However, almost everywhere you ...
12
votes
2answers
736 views

Why is “dingbat” used to refer to characters like “☺”?

Why is dingbat used to refer to characters such as "☺"? (See for instance those at the Mozilla Web Developer FAQ.) Doesn't dingbat mean a stupid person or something?
2
votes
2answers
811 views

“Curriculum Vitae” vs “Curriculum Vitæ”

I was just seeing the CV of Dr. Donald Knuth, which he calls as his Curriculum Vitæ. So is Curriculum Vitæ more appropriate than the commonly used Curriculum Vitae?
5
votes
1answer
737 views

Pronunciation of the letter 'W' [closed]

Why is the letter 'W' pronounced like double-'U' in English and pronounced as double-'V' in French? I've always wondered this. Typographically, the letter 'W' can be written with curvy bottoms (sorry ...
56
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the error called when two letters are mistakenly swapped?

Generally this may be called typo but when particularly two letters of a word are mistakenly swapped, what is this error called? Some examples: teh > the fromat > format comptuer > computer
4
votes
2answers
399 views

How were key positions on the typical QWERTY keyboard chosen? [closed]

It's hard to know where to ask this question, but I decided to ask it here because of how uniquely the keyboard relates to the language being typed. The keyboard appears to be English-specific, but ...
13
votes
2answers
734 views

Is there any significance in little curls joining the st and ct in old books?

I've been reading a facsimile edition of Defoe's Captain Singleton and have noticed a little quirk of the text; where an st or a ct appear, they are joined with a little curl over the top, but nt, rt ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views
6
votes
1answer
668 views

Why there's a difference between the two common appearances of the letter “a”? [closed]

Luckily the forum is using Georgia typeface, so both can be easily shown below: a vs a
10
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the most appropriate name for non-italicized text: “roman” or “upright”?

Let's say I am reviewing galley proofs, and the author has written some text in italics which shouldn't be. Would I write: “please typeset this word in roman” or “please typeset this word upright”? If ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Should this word be in quotes or in italic?

Let's suppose there exists a standard that documents fruits. This standard has already accepted apple and peach. Banana has just been accepted as a standard. When I say: The proposal of banana has ...
6
votes
3answers
291 views

Do native speakers leave out articles in slides for space?

Sometimes a and the take too much space in a slide, and I delete all of them to save me extra lines. Is it a good practice?
11
votes
3answers
9k views

Should there be a space between name initials?

In writing authors' initials in research papers (either in the author by-line or the bibliography), should there be a space between intials? R.P. Feynman R. P. Feynman What's the preferred way ...
20
votes
4answers
10k views

Capitalisation of nouns in English in the 17th and 18th centuries

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain to capitalise the first letters of nouns in English, e.g. At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Italics and punctuation

This might be a tad off-topic, but I am looking for an English-specific answer. When I’m using italic text to denote emphasis or a quotation, should the italicisation extend to the punctuation ...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

How should blockquoted quotations be formatted?

If I quote someone in a context where a blockquote is appropriate and there isn't lead-in prose which identifies the source, how should it be typeset? I'm quoting a saying or remark, as would be done ...
164
votes
15answers
18k views

How many spaces should come after a period/full stop?

In the past — or at least, when I was in elementary school — periods/full stops were followed by two spaces. Lately, it's become more and more common to see just one space. In the modern ...