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

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4answers
85 views

What non-alphabetic characters are valid in English spelling?

Is ' (the apostrophe) the only character which is not part of the English alphabet that can appear in the correct spelling of an English word?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

(Name of) and (Best Practice Typography for) Unusual Self-Referential Double Usage

One pattern I find interesting is using a word in an explicit double sense, leading to a self-reference kind of pun. For example: As is the case with such things, however, military intelligence ...
4
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2answers
454 views

English Typography in the 17th Century

I was browsing through some very old English texts when I came across this page from The memoires of Sir James Melvil of Hal-hill, by George Scot (1683). The first thing that struck me was the anatomy ...
0
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1answer
65 views

Is it improper to use the Right Quote character, if there's no Left Quote character paired with it? [closed]

Laying out a printed catalog (for distribution in the United States), I'm listing the dimensions (using inches) for numerous products. I like Proxima Nova's Right Quote character more than the ...
3
votes
1answer
565 views

Why do we use Roman numerals for some page numbers but Arabic ones for others?

Why is it that certain pages in English-language books are numbered using Roman numerals, but other pages are numbered using (so-called) Arabic ones? Has it always been this way? Or was the split ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Proper way to include a single character in a sentence, “V,” 'V,' or italic?

What is the proper way to include a single character within a sentence, double quotation marks, single quotation marks, or italicize it? For example, should it be: The man's face resembled a "V." ...
8
votes
2answers
580 views

What did Old English use Ꝥ for?

Here are some examples of citations in the OED of Old English where they use a standalone crossed thorn, Ꝥ: Þu aclænsast Ꝥ weofod and ʒehalʒast. Þær after com swulke mon-qualm Ꝥ lute hær ...
81
votes
3answers
7k views

How did 7 come to be an abbreviation for 'and' in Old English?

According to A History of the English Language: Revised Edition by Elly van Gelderen, p.53, in Old English the numeral 7 was used as an abbreviation for the word and: Abbreviations are frequently ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

What is a note in small print before a drop-cap called [closed]

In this sample from 1776 of Philosophical Transactions via JStor, there is a note in small print set in front of the the large initial starting the article. To make it more clear: It is the phrase ...
44
votes
3answers
2k views

What animal is a “weefil”?

What animal is depicted in this image labelled “weefil”?
14
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
14k views

When do you leave a space in a paragraph and when do you not?

I am not fully sure if this is the right place for this question but I am guessing has something to do with structure and usage so hopefully it is alright here. Apologies if not. I am getting ...
7
votes
2answers
689 views

What is the term for when one letter is lowercased when a name is in all caps?

Oftentimes when my last name is used in all caps on official documents, one of the letters is lowercased to denote that the following letter is capitalized. For example: DeVos = DeVOS What is the ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the opposite of engraved text?

The name of the building is [opposite of engraved] above the entrance. I'm looking for a word to describe characters that are raised above the surface - the opposite of engraved or sunken text
0
votes
4answers
3k views

Using an ellipsis to show omission, when we skip complete sentences. 3 or 4 dots? [duplicate]

Imagine I want to quote this text (the parts in bold): If there were such a thing, I think I'd be a champion. You know, baking under dangerous conditions, high-speed frosting... all hypothetical ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Word wrapping rules

Are there any rules or recommendations on word wrapping in English text? For example, consider the following sentence wrapped on two lines: The tragedy of the commons is an economics theory ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Early hyphenation library - 80s - 90s [closed]

I recall back in the late 1980s and perhaps early 1990s a library that was available in a number of forms that achieved excellent hyphenation in many/most languages. I seem to remember it was called ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

English line breaking rules

In Czech typography, some prepositions are not allowed to be at the end of the line, so line break is not allowed between that preposition and the following word. Are there similar rules in English ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

From French “manœuvre” to English “manoeuvre”, does “œ” exist in English?

Sadly, I don’t have much to add from the title to this question: does œ exist in English, such as in the word manœuvre? The same question may also apply to what the French call the “e dans l’a” (e in ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the historical reasons for the conventional sequence of footnote symbols?

According to @Mahnax's answer to this question, the Chicago Manual of Style Online states that the correct sequence of footnote symbols is as follows: * (asterisk; but do not use if p values occur ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

What is the base of a subscript called?

In dingdong , "dong" is the subscript but what is the name for "ding"? Base perhaps!
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Why add extra space between a word and punctuation (e.g. a period, question mark, etc.)? [duplicate]

I was just wondering this because of noticing a lot of people I've worked with typed this way. Examples: Okay, that's great . Thanks, Stephanie . Was there anything else ? I was wondering 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 ...
39
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
181
votes
15answers
23k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Middle initial placement

First question: My name is Anh D. Pham, but I go by “Andy”. If I want to include my nickname, where should I put the nickname portion? Anh D. “Andy” Pham Anh “Andy” D. Pham Second ...
4
votes
4answers
171 views

Term or phrase (bygone era) where doodles were part and parcel to writing

I read something a while back talking about this. It was a term or phrase I had to lookup; and it was available via Google-Bing, but not “predominant” - not a universal thing. Not exactly back in ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Appropriate punctuation for removing letters in offensive words

Letters in offensive words are often removed to make words less offensive, like f----ed, or n-gger. (Though this isn't just for offensive words—see G-d). What is the best typographic punctuation for ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

Name of the archaic “F” character used for an “S” [duplicate]

Into the 19th century, accepted orthography often used a letter character that resembles an F (but is not in fact identical to an F) when today we would invariably use an S. What is this character ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What Is the Real Name of the #?

I used to say "sharp sign" to refer to the # sign. Today a friend told me that the correct term is number sign or hash sign or even just hash. What is the difference between these options and ...
2
votes
3answers
257 views

A word for individual letters?

Is there another word for individual letters of the alphabet, perhaps a typographical reference?
0
votes
1answer
167 views

Words to help describe when you are using spaces and line breaks in text?

If you look at the difference between something like quick brown fox and quickbrownfox, you might reasonably describe the first as being "spaced". While the second is, perhaps "unspaced" or ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Is there a term for an offset quote that is only quoting the body of the text?

A trend in many magazine-style articles is to take a quote from the body of the article and place it in its own blockquote or other special formatting, then place it somewhere irrelevant in the flow ...
11
votes
4answers
451 views

During what period of history did English use “ß”, the “sharp s” ligature?

The ß glyph is a lowercase letter than represents a ligature between a long s and a round s, and is still used today in (some versions of) German. Its uppercase equivalent is two characters instead ...
1
vote
3answers
212 views

How would you handle ellipsis outside quotation marks?

Would it be: If I had only said, "I love you."... or If I had only said, "I love you"... or even If I had only said, "I love you,"... Basically, the ellipsis would represent someone trailing ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

When were st, nd, rd, and th, first used [closed]

When were numeric contractions for ordinals first used, as in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th instead of first, second, third, sixth?
4
votes
2answers
133 views

The hole in a character

Forgive any naivety. I have come from SO to SE to ask a question. I am looking for a font, where the hole in a character ie O, A, P, Q. Can be used to insert an image. I do not need a recommendation ...
2
votes
3answers
249 views

Different way to refer to a 'lowercase' letter?

I am looking for a different word to refer to 'lowercase' or 'small' letters, but I am unable to find any such word. "Large letter �"; this is used by the Unicode standard for non-latin glyphs, and ...
8
votes
3answers
212 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
169 views

What is the name for right-aligning a citation on the last line of a paragraph?

Is there a term for when you layout a paragraph with a right-aligned citation on the last line, like this: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus quam mauris, tincidunt ...
6
votes
2answers
517 views

Typographical symbol to indicate page

There are many typographical symbols, for example: The pilcrow (¶) is used for paragraphs. The asterisk, dagger and double dagger (*,†,‡) for footnotes. The hurricane (§) for sections. Is there ...
2
votes
1answer
433 views

Capitalising when starting sentence with digits

This might be more a typography related question than actual language question, but I didn’t know where else to turn. First of, I am perfectly aware that it’s generally considered bad form—regardless ...
11
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

General term for punctuation that surrounds a word or phrase?

Is there a general term for punctuation that surrounds a word or phrase? Something that includes brackets and quotes, but there may be other types of punctuation, formal or otherwise, that have the ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

How to Properly Cut Content and Show Content is Cut

I hope this is the proper place to ask this question: I have a news article that I am citing for a post online. I am quoting part of the article but I am going to quote the first part of the article ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Approximating Fancy Punctuation

Is it ever okay (or acceptable in modern casual usage) to approximate an ellipse glyph '…' with three full-stops '...' or spaced full-stops '. . .'? The textbooks say you shouldn't, ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

What do you call the latter part of a sentence which spans two pages?

Does the sentence fragment after the simulated pagebreak (the horizontal rule) have a specific term associated with it?      The start of a new paragraph includes an indent ...
26
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...