Re: Ligatures in Portuguese, French (was: ... Turkish and Azeri)

From: Jim Allan (
Date: Sat Jul 12 2003 - 21:25:49 EDT

  • Next message: Patrick Andries: "Re: Ligatures in Portuguese, French (was: ... Turkish and Azeri)"

    Philippe Verdy posted:

    > 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).

    See for a short
    history of the ampersand and some of its variations in modern computer

    What this doesn't indicate is that sometimes in medieval text the
    ampersand ligature is used to spell _et_ as part of a longer word. So
    perhaps it should be considered a letter with alphabetic properties?

    The forms you describe seems like some of those shown in my link and all
    but the two earliest would be recognized by English readers as
    acceptable modern ampersand forms.

    Check common fonts like Trebuchet MS, Berkeley Book, Goudy Sans, Korinna
      and Univers for recognizable _Et_ ampersands.

    In common proofreading practice in English, at least in my experience,
    the ampersand is often pronounced as "et".

    > 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.

    Possibly a capital ampersand is needed?

    Jim Allan

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