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163

That peculiarly written letter is called the R rotunda The r rotunda (ꝛ), "rounded r", is a historical calligraphic variant of the minuscule (lowercase) letter Latin r used in full script-like typefaces, especially blackletters. Unlike other letter variants such as "long s" which originally were orthographically distinctive, r rotunda ...


131

I found the term "grawlixes" here: The Lexicon of Comicana. Grawlixes Typographical symbols standing for profanities, appearing in dialogue balloons in place of actual dialogue. I also came across the terms "profanitype" and "symbol swearing." I think I like "grawlixes" best.


111

The Tironian et and the modern ampersand had different origins, with the Tironian et having been invented as one of ~13,000 symbols/shorthand by Cicero's scribe, Tiro. It persisted until it succumbed to a linguistic witch hunt during the middle ages, when suspicion was cast upon it for appearing to be a rune or secret cipher. (This detail has been rightly ...


58

While all will be understood, the convention in this situation is to use "at the time of writing". Alternatively you could say "as of October 2014". "At the time of writing we had just declared war with IS." "As of October 2014 the tax rate is 20%."


51

These have also been called obscenicons. Several links on Language Log offer an in-depth look at their usage. More on the early days of obscenicons Obscenicons a century ago CALL ME... UNPRONOUNCEABLE The "word" represented by the symbols could be pronounced bleep: So people came up with a small set of conventional euphemistic readings for <expletive ...


49

Even though it looks like a seven, it's actually a shorthand character called a "Tironian et" From http://www.ualberta.ca/~sreimer/ms-course/course/abbrevtn.htm Tironian nota for "et" (this frequently looks like a small number "7" or, later, a "z" or a "z" inside a circle; cf. the ampersand: &): Tiro was a member of Cicero's household who ...


38

I have always seen this written as "to-may-to to-mah-to."


28

They are ditto marks. ditto stems from the Tuscan dialect of the Italian detto - 'said'; Latin dictus - 'said'. Oxford Dictionaries Online.


27

After reading more pages of the 1591 dictionary it was made clear that it was an r. It is also made clear by reading the text in this image: In this image, taken from this page, you can see words such as more and or written with that type of r. As noted in the linked page: A variant of the long S is in full effect here, but so are a number of other ...


24

Id est is not commonly used in academic writing today. Two reasons come to mind. The usage is at best uncommon: A basic JSTOR search will churn up articles dealing with Latin sources, where id est occurs in larger samples of Latin text. Even when I limit the search to 2000 and later, the top sources are all Latin-facing, with titles like: "Alabastrum, ...


21

You may get someone who uses Grammarly answering your question here. But you could also do a Google search which should pull up user experiences. One grammar expert who has nothing good to say about computerized writing checkers is Professor Pullum, co-author of A Cambridge Guide to English Grammar and contributor to Language Log. Here is an extract from ...


18

These can also be called swear symbols or curse symbols, as evidenced by this quote: But I enjoy the opportunity to use swear symbols. (Daniel Clowes, Cartoonist) Those terms are not as cool as the word grawlix, but they are still in the vernacular, and thus worthy of a mention.


18

There is no rule that related segments of words have to be spelled with the same sequence of letters. It might seem more logical to you, but that's never been a successful argument in changing English spelling*. We also write "deception", "deceive" and "deceit", and "reception","receive", and "receipt". In any case, the second digraph "ai" in "maintain" is ...


17

Although the 7 was the ampersand on IBM's standard keyboard layout, that is hardly universal. The first nine printable characters in ASCII are ! " # $ % & ' ( ), which should give a good clue as to what the top row of a teletype keyboard looked like. On many early teletypes and terminals (and also, BTW, on the Apple ][), the shift key toggled bit 4 of ...


12

To answer the question directly: yes, it is perfectly correct to write “a 5-mm-thick layer”. However, when not in prefix position, it would be “a layer that’s 5 mm thick”, this time without any hyphens. The accepted answer appears to be wrong in its assertion that there is something wrong with writing “a five-millimeter-thick layer”. There isn’t. Here ...


12

Mama British English \mə-ˈmä\ (American English \ˈmä-mə\ or \məˈmɑ) Origin: 1545–55; mama (also, mamma) nursery word, with parallels in other European languages, probably in part inherited or borrowed, in part newly formed; compare Latin mamma, Greek mámmē breast, mama, French maman, Welsh mam mother Etymology Dictionary says mamma, (...


12

The whole point of the personal statement is to give the admissions officer a convincing impression of what kind of person you are, your passions and strengths, your most valued experiences, etc. It is pretty much impossible to do this without liberal use of the first person pronouns. In fact, if you try and avoid using I you may well end up with some ...


12

The best advice is: don't. Just leave it out. Readers do not like being constantly (or even repeatedly) reminded to pay attention. If it is a fact, state it as a fact. If it is an opinion, clarify that it is an opinion. If it is somehow related to other statements, use connectors to clarify or emphasize that relationship, such as however, moreover, ...


12

Even in serious writing, as this sample clearly is, aimed at a serious audience, there is absolutely no problem, this being so because as a well established usage exists and as readers have no reasons to look for meanings that make for nonsense when the obvious one is pointed by the context, the real business in reading you is to understand what you mean. (...


11

While very similar, and often used interchangeably, there is a technical difference between the two. "In each step" implies that something is done or happens as part of the process. "At each step" is for something done additionally to the process. Assembling the furniture consists of seven steps. In each step a new piece is added to the ...


10

Em dashes can be used if allowed by your style guide (but don't use them too often). For example, this is what APA says: First, when would you use an em dash? The Publication Manual (p. 97) notes that em dashes are “used to set off an element added to amplify or to digress from the main clause.” The em dash draws a reader’s attention, partly because of the ...


9

Technically, the simplest answer would be "punctuated speech." punctuated — emphasize something: to do or say something in order to add emphasis But this specific pattern is extremely common in music and goes by the term "staccato". The Wikipedia entry has some good examples of music played with and without staccato and it perfectly matches the ...


9

To me, concatenate refers to the very specific operation of appending things in order, specifically abstract things. Words and ideas can be concatenated, but things in the real world are usually not said to be concatenated. The word is mostly used in programming discussion and other discussion involving strings. Merge usually implies mixing; if two ...


9

OK is an abbreviation. This is what Oxford online dict says about its origin: mid 19th century (originally US): probably an abbreviation of orl korrect, humorous form of all correct, popularized as a slogan during President Van Buren's re-election campaign of 1840 in the US; his nickname Old Kinderhook (derived from his birthplace) provided the ...


9

The plural of lemma is lemmata or lemmas. Both are acceptable. As a general note, the best way to find a plural is to look up the singular form in a dictionary. If there is a plural it will be listed.


9

The online BBC Style Guide is silent on the matter. The Chicago Manual of Style (13.20) however gives guidance that if a quote extends to multiple paragraphs, the closing quote only goes at the end. Each paragraph will lead with an initial quotation (as your example shows), but the trailing quotation mark only goes at the end.


9

A lovely and fascinating question! As you point out, sic erat scriptum, "thus was it written," would literally only apply when quoting from a written source. In a different thread, there was a vigorous debate about the (non-)use of diacritical marks in English, and it seems that the under-use of diacritics is partially to blame here. Wikipedia and ...


9

I can only help with the way the word 'worship' was printed during the 1500s. These are the various bible translations of Matthew 4:10 (Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God) from 1175 to 1568. I have highlighted the word 'worship' in its various forms but am unable to say which word it is in the Wessex Gospels of 1175. The 'r' is included from 1382 up to ...


8

I have heard that construct (a line of asterisks meant to suggest a temporal or logical disconnect) described as a "zareba," back in my days as a typesetter, but I am unable to find a reference for that usage, even in the venerable OED -- it may have been local to SF Bay typesetters, or just used by typesetters in general.


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