Re: Latin chi and stretched x

From: Denis Jacquerye <>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 20:36:00 +0200

On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 5:41 PM, Julian Bradfield
<> wrote:
> On 2012-06-07, Denis Jacquerye <> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 12:39 AM, Karl Pentzlin <>
>> I agree, we should avoid bad typography. But isn't a Latin chi (the
>> IPA Latin chi being proposed) with Greek weights instead of Latin
>> weights bad typography? Probably, that glyph still doesn't blend in
>> with other Latin glyphs.
> Hear! Hear!
> When I first got involved with the IPA thirty years ago, I wrote to
> them to complain about this. Sadly they ignored me, and have since
> made matters even worse by printing with plain old Greek chi.
> However, one must recognize that the reversed letters in IPA may also
> have the wrong weights to harmonize well, because people implement
> them by literal reversal, rather than by drawing the reverse shape
> with the normal weight - almost always for ɜ.
> In some versions of the IPA chart, χ is printed with a
> glyph that has almost equal weights on the two arms, possibly slightly
> more Latin than Greek. (I can't track down the printed source; it's
> almost certainly due to a careful choice of Greek font. The version
> I'm thinking of is on the Web at
> )
> Surely there is no basis for distiguishing characters solely on
> the basis of weights that are an artefact of the writing device -
> nobody would propose using or encoding LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED O,
> I hope.
> If Latin chi is to be distinguished from stretched x, it would have to
> be on the basis of the curved end strokes - and since some chis, Latin
> or otherwise, have only very subtly curved end strokes, this is a poor
> basis for a distinction. Not impossible, but likely to cause
> confusion, I'd have thought.

I've attached samples from Frank, H., Oelwein, C. and Schuh, R.
(2002), Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Ehemaliger Landkreis
Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Historisches Ortsnamenbuch von Bayern. Oberpfalz
2) München, which uses stretched-x as SBS since it also concerns
Bavarian German, or a Latin chi in line with older Teuthonista since
its glyph is similar to (if not better than) the glyph of the IPA chi,
especially the one from the chart Julian Bradfield pointed to. It
doesn't have Greek weights and is obviously not a "proper"
stretched-x, it has the same shape as chi, but with Latin weight, two
ends with serifs and two ends with curves (compare with sample x with
4 ends with serifs, or Greek chi which wouldn't have serifs). This
doesn't seem to be bad typography, as it is not a copy of the Greek
chi glyph but instead a Latinized form.

Denis Moyogo Jacquerye
African Network for Localisation
Nkótá ya Kongó míbalé ---
DejaVu fonts ---

HONB-stretched-x.png HONB-x.png
Received on Thu Jun 07 2012 - 13:39:01 CDT

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