Re: The glyph of the CAPITAL SHARP S

From: Marnen Laibow-Koser (
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 11:30:53 CDT

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    On May 10, 2007, at 2:15 AM, John Hudson wrote:

    > The fact that it is easier to decipher text when the bottom half is
    > covered than when the top half is covered is an accident of the
    > evolution of Latin letterforms, not a clue to how we read normal
    > text. The arrangement of features could just as easily produce the
    > opposite and equally accidental result.

    Nope. Perhaps it's originally an accident that Roman letters
    primarily differ at the top, but we have become so used to that fact
    that we will notice differences in the top halves of letters more
    than similar differences at the bottom. Scott Kim has pointed out
    that in a cursive context, we see one letter when the top strokes are
    joined (even if the bottoms are separate) and two letters when the
    top strokes are separate (even if the bottoms are joined).

    For that matter, it's hard to think of a script (other than Oriya and
    Chinese, perhaps) where differences are *not* concentrated in the top
    half of the letter.

    > John Hudson


    Marnen Laibow-Koser

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