Re: Small Latin Letter m with Macron

From: Timothy Partridge (
Date: Thu Jan 16 2003 - 15:29:57 EST

  • Next message: John H. Jenkins: "Re: Small Latin Letter m with Macron"

    Cristoph Päper recently said:

    > Kenneth Whistler:
    > > Christoph Päper asked:
    > >
    > >> writing "mm" as only one "m" with a macron above.
    > >
    > > Handwritten forms and arbitrary manuscript abbreviations
    > > should not be encoded as characters.
    > Although I've got no proof for it, I was told that it has also been used in
    > print.

    Yes, especially early printing of Latin documents. See for example
    Gutenberg's bibles.

    In the nineteenth century, in England, many old handwritten records were
    were printed in record type. This is like ordinary type but contains extra
    characters for the abbreviation marks. (It is in a typical serif font, not a
    handwriting style font.) I think the reason for reproducing in the condensed
    form rather than expanding the abbreviations, was that some abbreviations
    have more than one interpretation. For legal records an incorrect expansion
    can have a significant effect. The literal transcription reduces this risk.
    (It still requires someone to read the old handwriting correctly.)

    Charles Trice Martin wrote "The Record Interpreter" which lists words in
    record type and their expansion. The 2nd Edition (1910) has been reprinted
    many times. The 1999 reprint is a facsimile of the 1910 edition, rather than
    being re-typeset.


    Tim Partridge. Any opinions expressed are mine only and not those of my employer

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