Re: Proprietary Card Decks

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Wed Apr 13 2011 - 07:51:43 CDT

  • Next message: Julian Bradfield: "Re: Proprietary Card Decks"

    On 13 Apr 2011, at 13:34, Julian Bradfield wrote:

    >> The principle for adding the mathematical styles is that they can be
    >> used side-by-side (i.e., the same letter) in the same text but with
    >> different semantic meaning.
    >> Is that what you do with Fraktur and Old English typefaces?
    > I'm not saying I do do it, or even that I've ever seen it. Just that
    > there is no general principle of notation that says you can't do
    > it. Probably the only reason I haven't seen it is that LaTeX doesn't
    > have an Old English font installed by default.

    Yes, there is no such principle - only what makes the text practically readable.

    The similarity of Old English typeface to Fraktur would be a reason against adding it.

    By contrast, bold italic was added, even though it might not have been in use, because it was simply not available. Before electronic typesetting fonts were expensive, so one would use what one had.

    >> There was a similar discussion with the script styles. AMS Fonts use
    >> a different style than the one used in Europe which is based on
    >> English script, originally a handwriting style, still taught today in
    >> Sweden (I think). But in the end, only one script style was added.
    > TeX has messed this up rather. In the good old days, "script" letters
    > in printed mathematics were (almost?) invariably in the 18th century
    > pointed-nib "copperplate" style, as widely used on wedding
    > invitations.

    Yes, this is a typeset variation of a English handwriting style, also called script.

    > But Knuth didn't make such a font, so TeX (and then
    > LaTeX) using mathematicians starting using his "calligraphic"
    > (broad-edged pen script) letters instead.
    > Personally, whenever I have control, I use a real copperplate for
    > traditionally "script" contexts. But I have occasionally used both
    > copperplate and \mathcal in the same document, with different
    > meanings.
    > Basically, a mathematician in search of a distinction will freely
    > take advantage of whatever's there.

    So that was the rationale for not adding the Calligraphic style, as it was thought of a variation of the Script style, one would normally use when available. That is, math text would not use them side-by-side even though in principle they could do it.


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