Re: Why blackletter letters?

From: Gerrit Ansmann <>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 14:56:40 +0200

On Wed, 11 Sep 2013 13:13:12 +0200, Stephan Stiller <> wrote:

> Your page draws my attention to "ſch". To typeset this as "ſ ch" in circumstances where spacing-out (positive tracking; German: "gesperrt") is used for emphasis has always irritated me, but I guess that's just how it's mostly been done ... do you have more information on this? How often was the entire "ſch" kept together in such circumstances?

I do not know of a single historical example where ſch was kept as one and I consider it rather unlikely that one exists. And yes, this aspect of the rules is indeed very strange and illogical, but so were a lot of other rules at that time.

> Historically yes, but in the end, long s was considered restricted to blackletter; I think this was even written into the orthographic rules from 1901.

That’s correct, but that did not seem to stop people from using a long s in Antiqua from time to time. There are a lot of post-1901 Antiqua display fonts that contain a long s as well as examples from normal text. This very rarely happens even today:

Gerrit Ansmann
Received on Wed Sep 11 2013 - 07:59:09 CDT

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