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Re: Ye Olde Englishe
- To: Multiple recipients of list BOOK_ARTS-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
- Subject: Re: Ye Olde Englishe
- From: Beth Lee <Callibeth@AOL.COM>
- Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 08:27:08 -0500
- Message-Id: <199611081328.FAA11976@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
In a message dated 96-11-06 11:54:03 EST, you write:
<< Does anyone out there know of any articles/books on early typography, i.e.
as in explaining the reasoning behind the long "esses" (you know what I
mean, the ones that -- sometimes -- look sort-of like "effs"), etc.?
Actually, from an historical point of view, you might more appropriately
question the reasoning behind the *long* esses!
My impression is that the use of the short ess throughout the word is a
relatively modern occurrence: My paleography books have long esses in the
scripts from about 350 AD through the invention of the printing press. The
long esses in these examples are the *usual* ess, the short ess being used
only at the endings of words -- rather like final letterforms in the Hebrew
language. I suppose that printing presses had some effect on the dying out
of the long ess -- one less case to deal with -- but I don't really know.