Re: Why blackletter letters?

From: Gerrit Ansmann <>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 10:36:21 +0200

On Thu, 12 Sep 2013 06:50:23 +0200, Charlie Ruland ☘ <> wrote:

> One final remark: Thinking about it I have the impression that the blackletter vs. antiqua distinction once made in German very much resembles that made between Hiragana and Katakana in Japanese. In both cases the underlying systems of the corresponding scripts are essentially the same; yet it seems impossible to read the other script without further instruction and exercise; and in both languages one script is used primarily for inherited, and the other for foreign words.

Just to clarify: Antiqua in Fraktur text was by far not used for all foreign words, but only for few. The guidelines for this differed, but my Duden (the most important German dictionary) from 1926 advises that only words that were (a) from Romance languages (including Latin), (b) still clearly foreign words (and, e.g., not inflected) and (c) neither a name for geography nor a person should be set in Antiqua. In the dictionary part, you can find Horsd’œuvre, Midſhipman, São Thomé, Perpetuum mobile, Oſzillograph, Oxymoron and Feuilleton in Fraktur, just to give some examples.
Received on Thu Sep 12 2013 - 03:38:28 CDT

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