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

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188
votes
15answers
25k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Arabic numerals vs their corresponding English words in scientific research paper [duplicate]

This question is different from Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?, as it is about the usage in a physics research paper. Basically, I am not sure when to use Arabic numerals and when to ...
11
votes
3answers
690 views

What do you call the phenomenon where a rectangle Ϳ is shown because a font lacks a glyph?

Is there a name to describe the situation where a particular character is shown on a computer screen in a particular font, but this font does not have a glyph for this particular character? Usually, ...
15
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
16k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
11k views

Ye olde english alphabet question: Any other letters lost besides thorn, edh, and yogh?

According to this link, we are missing (in Modern English) at least three letters that used to be in common use in English. These are thorn, edh, and yogh. Are there others that were clearly in the ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is 1 hand-written without a serif and 7 without a dash? [closed]

I've noticed that people coming from a English-speaking countries tend to write "1" without the upstroke and "7" without a dash: which differs from the way the numbers are usually written in ...
4
votes
4answers
219 views

Why does English omit diacritics on foreign names?

Why does English omit diacritics from foreign names that still use the Latin alphabet? For example, why are the Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych, the Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø, or the Polish ...
7
votes
3answers
839 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
226 views

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)?

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)? Example from BBC News: Venezuela - a major oil producer - has been heavily affected by the fall in oil prices on ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

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

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." ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the typography term which refers to the usage of bold, italics, and underline styles simultaneously?

I remember seeing such a word before, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. I'm googling and having no luck. The classic web comic Pokey the Penguin used this technique quite a bit.
10
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
260 views

Space before apostrophe

In the 1928 Scribner’s (NY) edition of The Plays of J. M. Barrie, I’ve noticed an odd convention: where a contraction happens in middle of a word (e.g., “don’t” for “do n(o)t”), the apostrophe has the ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

With character or sign

Is there a character or sign -- most likely historic -- for 'with', similarly to & for 'and'? Also for 'without'
2
votes
5answers
384 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 ...
48
votes
3answers
2k views

What animal is a “weefil”?

What animal is depicted in this image labelled “weefil”?
0
votes
4answers
221 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
54 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
558 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
votes
1answer
74 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
633 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
622 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 ...
84
votes
3answers
8k 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
128 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 ...
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
18k 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
791 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
3k 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
1
vote
4answers
4k 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
195 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
36 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
4k 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
95 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
2k 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 ...
40
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
192 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
214 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
146 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
125 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
274 views

A word for individual letters?

Is there another word for individual letters of the alphabet, perhaps a typographical reference?
0
votes
1answer
202 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
55 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
547 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
295 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
5k 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
148 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 ...