I have come across some typography ligatures involving “f” and other letters as one glyph, I was wondering whether a ligature glyph is considered one alternate letter or still two letters after they are joined, I was also wondering if glyphs have their own names or how they are named if at all, similar to the case of the Bluetooth logo in which two runes, Berkana and Hagalaz are joined as a glyph ligature, is this considered an alternate rune or two individual ones, — Jackenter image description hereenter image description here

closed as off-topic by MetaEd Dec 11 '18 at 23:03

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this doesn't have anything to do with English. – jimm101 Nov 21 '18 at 18:34
  • Actually, it does have to do with English and old printing styles. Ligature is a printing and font design term. It is not phonological or related to how a word is pronounced.... – Lambie Nov 21 '18 at 19:07

Ligatures are presentation forms only; they are not in any way separate letters from those that compose them. In general, their use improves the appearance of text, mostly by avoiding “collisions” between various portions of the composing letters; an example of such a “collisions” can be seen in your example; in the last row, the top hook of the ‘f’ and the dot of the ‘j’ are colliding; a properly formed ligature would combine the two, as the ‘fi’ ligature in the first row shows.

Example of non-ligature and ligature

This font is Georgia Pro; on the left are the letters ‘fi’ without ligature; the right shows the ligature for the same two letters. Note how the hook at the top of the ‘f’ is extended to the right, and the dot of the ‘i’ omitted, in the ligature, presenting a “cleaner” appearance.

The combination of runes that yields the commonly-recognized symbol for Bluetooth is not itself a rune, nor is it actually considered a combination of runes (though that may in fact be their origin) or ligature; the combined form is simply ‘the Bluetooth logo’.

Some ligatures are encoded in Unicode for historical reasons; those ligatures do have Unicode names (for example, U+FB01, ‘Latin Small Ligature Fi’). Others which have not been so encoded may not have separate names, though they may exist in fonts as targets for a ligature table enabled by the liga feature in CSS or OpenOffice.

  • It is worth noting that the Bluetooth logo was actually the symbol used to represent King Harald 'Bluetooth' of Denmark back in his day. – IchabodE Nov 21 '18 at 22:04
  • Thank you for this, I will just ask for one particular point, I understand that the construction of Latin ligatures is related to typefaces, in the case of runes, I understand the logo is a modern construction, yet there were constructions called bindrunes in which two intials or runes were joined, this name suggests that these ligatures were alternate runes, if one was to read out a “bindrune” as one reads out the initials HB , are they read out as one longer joined name or still two separate rune names (aiche-bee as opposed to aiche bee), – Jack Scrugggs Nov 21 '18 at 22:32
  • In reading out a binderune as two intials, is it read out as two separate phonetic words as two separate phonetic rune names or one phonetic word, – Jack Scrugggs Nov 21 '18 at 22:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.