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

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37
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5answers
25k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Space before three dots? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper way of using triple dots and spaces before/after them? Should there be a space before three dots? Examples: I don't know if this is good... ...
218
votes
15answers
31k 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 ...
56
votes
3answers
2k views

What animal is a “weefil”?

What animal is depicted in this image labelled “weefil”?
33
votes
2answers
24k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
14k 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
3answers
1k 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 ...
23
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
23k views

When a dagger is used to indicate a note, must it come after an asterisk?

The typographical symbol dagger (†) has several meanings. Possibly its most common use is as a footnote marker. According to You Have a Point There: A Guide to Punctuation and Its Allies ...
44
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
93
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
491 views

Should thin spaces be used between numerals and units

After starting to use the siunitx package for typesetting units (and the numerals before the units) in LaTeX, I noticed that it typesets a single space between a numeral and a unit (a space that is ...
1
vote
4answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
859 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

“20th century” vs. “20ᵗʰ century” [closed]

When writing twentieth century using an ordinal numeral, should the th part be in superscript? 20th century 20th century
3
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
66
votes
3answers
16k 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
14
votes
2answers
17k views

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

I've noticed that people coming from 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
857 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
32k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
143 views

“Accentuation signals” in English

Unlike in English speaking countries, here in Brazil it is very common to have names with accents. My own name is an example of it: Túlio. In my case, in letter u we have an accentuation signal ...
20
votes
3answers
2k 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?
6
votes
4answers
391 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
728 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
578 views

What are footnotes called when they aren’t in the footer?

What do you call the little asides found in the margins of books instead of at the bottom of the page? I don’t mean the stuff scribbled in by hand, but rather the printed matter used by tasteful ...
2
votes
1answer
850 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. ...
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 ...
0
votes
4answers
1k 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?