From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jul 12 2003 - 18:23:31 EDT
On Saturday, July 12, 2003 9:59 PM, Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin <email@example.com> wrote:
> On 2003.07.10, 20:34, John Cowan <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > IIRC, Portuguese traditional typography also avoids the fi-ligature,
> > even though the language has no dotless-i.
> Just browsed some old book with that in mind and I cannot really
> corroborate. I've even seen some other more exotic ligatures, such as
> "st" and "ct".
> Maybe there was such a reccomendation in some portugguese type-setting
> manual, but its result doesn't show...
In French typography, we also find the special ligatures for the French
(and Roman Latin) word "et" (means "and"), using old alternate forms for
the lowercase letter "e", looking mostly like a Greek epsilon (or the Latin
Small Open E, still used in Tamazigh as a letter distinct from the
standard Latin Small E).
The resulting ligature glyph is very near from the ASCII ampersand
character, and I just wonder if the ampersand is not a variation of this
French or Latin ligature, which belongs to the same typographic
traditions as the <s, t>, <c, t> and <long-s, t> ligatures (and
probably the <long-s, s> ligature too in German's <sharp-s>).
In French text, using the "&" character to replace a "et" word would
seem ugly (or lazy), even today where it looks like a technical symbol
imported from English or used in trademarks (such as the new
France Telecom Orange logo, where it clearly uses the common
association of this character with Internet), and called "esperluète",
"éperluète", or commonly "et commercial".
On the opposite, the use of the "et" ligature (which is really
representing the French word "et" with its two letters) is quite
common even in recent books and publications, and it looks
pretty good typographically, notably for its titlecase version at
at the beginning of sentences.
There are many examples in various languages, where what was a
typographic ligature ot two letters, became used as a separate
letter or character in another language... Now that computers can
generate these ligatures more easily, I think there is a renewal
of their use and creation, probably meaning in the future more
ligatures converted to plain letters in written languages.
-- Philippe. Spams non tolérés: tout message non sollicité sera rapporté à vos fournisseurs de services Internet.
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