RE: The glyph of the CAPITAL SHARP S

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 12:29:22 CDT

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    > De : [] De la
    > part de Otto Stolz
    > Envoyé : jeudi 10 mai 2007 17:16
    > À : John Hudson
    > Cc : 'Unicode Discussion'; Kevin Larson
    > Objet : Re: The glyph of the CAPITAL SHARP S
    > John Hudson schrieb:
    > > The fact that it is easier to decipher text when the bottom half is
    > > covered than when the top half is covered is an accident of the
    > > evolution of Latin letterforms, not a clue to how we read normal text.
    > > The arrangement of features could just as easily produce the opposite
    > > and equally accidental result.
    > Example: Devanagari (or so I guess)

    I said "Latin" script. My argument is equally valid for Denavanagari
    readers: they learn to read by looking at the bottom part...

    As I said, this is a feature of the *script*, and a very important one that
    we are now wanting in modern fonts for fast-reading.

    The historical designs my not have used this feature, but they are difficult
    to decipher for fast-reading, even for expert readers: look ofr example at
    the time it takes for archivists and genealogists to look for someone in
    birth/death registries: even if you point your finger to keep line starts,
    you can rapidly scan a column of text as fast as when it is written in a
    modern font.

    The "eye" (in fact our brain of course) is really trained to focus on
    differences on the top part of letters, when the lower part is used to
    recognize word units and separations and look ahead for the next words on
    the line, or finding the next line (because the lower part is a bit darker
    than the upper part, on average).

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