From: Marnen Laibow-Koser (email@example.com)
Date: Tue May 08 2007 - 01:58:38 CDT
On May 8, 2007, at 2:04 AM, Werner LEMBERG wrote:
>>> See http://www.evertype.com/standards/iso10646/pdf/sharp-s.png
>>> where I have given an F, J, U, ÃŸ, long-s, and two capital sharp
> Sorry to say but I dislike both of them.
As do I. The second doesn't look uppercase (perhaps for the reasons
that John Hudson mentioned) and the first is just plain ugly (but I'm
sure you knew that already, Michael -- it doesn't look like a
finished character). I recognize that these are just first steps in
that direction, though, because I've seen too much of Michael's work
to believe that he'd be satisfied with these.
>> I spent some time today drawing uppercase eszetts, and found it a
>> pretty gruesome business.
> I believe you. My thinking is that an uppercase form of ÃŸ should
> always look similar to `SS'
Why? The lowercase form certainly doesn't look like ss, at least in
Roman type where the long s is not otherwise used.
> -- as TeX shows, which has introduced an
> `SS' glyph about 20 years ago to make uppercasing give correct visual
And some all-caps Windows fonts have this as well in the ÃŸ slot
(haven't seen it in Mac fonts for some reason, although I wouldn't be
surprised if an example turned up). I think it's little more than a
hack, and I would *not* rely on it as a model for how [ÃŸ] should look.
> To make an `SS' glyph distinguishable from `S' `S', as
> needed in official documents like passports, why not adding a small
> `ligature connection' similar to the bow in the `ct' ligature glyphs
> formerly used in French typography (see attached image)?
To me, that looks too much like two glyphs, where the lowercase ÃŸ is
clearly only one, at least in Roman type.
Hmm...how about an S with an extra bowl, sort of like
(If I have time, I might try to draw one and see how it looks, but my
skills as a type designer are limited at best.) This might pass the
On the other hand, does the lowercase ÃŸ pass the Trajan test (or
lowercase equivalent)? In many fonts, I think not. It's kind of a
strange letter that looks out of place in Roman type. Perhaps the
Swiss were wiser than I realized.
Historical question: does anyone know how recent the use of ÃŸ in
Roman type is? I have a German grammar (in English) from sometime in
the 20th century (I'm guessing 1930s, since it's early enough that
all the German is in Fraktur, but I can't lay my hands on the book
right now to cite). There's a prefatory section that introduces the
Fraktur alphabet, along with SÃ¼tterlin and German Antiqua
handwriting. It also mentions the various Fraktur s forms, including
the difference between Fraktur Å¿Å¿ and ÃŸ, and follows that with the
comment: "In Roman type, 'ss' is used for both these forms". So it
appears that at least at the time this book was published, Roman ÃŸ
simply didn't exist.
(One would assume that ÃŸ made its way into Roman lowercase for the
same reasons that it may now be making its way into Roman uppercase.)
-- Marnen Laibow-Koser firstname.lastname@example.org
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