Re: acute vs. kreska

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sat Oct 16 1999 - 19:26:21 EDT

At 01:50 AM 16-10-99 -0700, Martin Kotulla wrote:

> has a nice rundown on the design of Polish
>diacritics. They go to great lengths to point out that the Polish
>"kreska" is not identical with the acute accent in many other languages.
>The kreska is steeper than the acute accent.

>Too bad the Unicode Consortium didn't hear about this ... <g>

This is a glyph variant, not a character variant.

There is no reason why 'typographical nitpicking' might not also be 'a real
issue for Polish readers'. Some people care about their national typography
as an expression of their culture, just as they care about their traditions
in painting, music, etc.

When I am designing CE versions of fonts for customers, I tend to replace
the acute and grave accents with steeper versions; I also take care to
position the new accents over the letters in accordance with Polish
preference. In my experience, the Poles are stricter about diacritic form
and positioning than just about any nationality, but it may just be that
they have such a well-informed and vocal champion in Adam Twardoch.

The difficulty, of course, comes when you want to ship a single font for
all European locales. I can say with a little amount of pride -- because it
was my idea -- that an OpenType layout tag called /locl/ is being added to
the OT spec to facilitate language specific access to variant glyphs. I
wrote up the proposal when I was looking at Serbian variants of the
Cyrillic script, and Adobe were quick to see the benefit to CJKV
disunification, but the same tag could also be used to access culturally
preferred forms of Latin diacritics. I am drafting a paper on this for the
next Unicode conference.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

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