Re: Medievalist ligature character in the PUA

From: Werner LEMBERG (
Date: Wed Jan 27 2010 - 01:49:41 CST

  • Next message: Gerrit: "Re: Medievalist ligature character in the PUA"

    > My sense is that the underlying motivation for the switch away from
    > Fraktur were the forces of economic and technological integration
    > and competition among industrialized countries, the early 20th
    > century fore-runner of today's globalization.


    > In other areas, in the arts, in architecture, the culture had moved
    > on decisively to leave the 19th century behind (Jugendstil,
    > Bauhaus). None of these were really compatible with the somewhat
    > medieval feel of Fraktur. (My interpretation).

    The letter design is always debatable, however, some features of
    Fraktur make it uniquely suitable to German, much better than any
    other scripts:

      . The number of characters in German syllables is usually higher
        than in most other European languages; using Fraktur you usually
        can have approx. 30% more glyphs per line, which is invaluable for
        justified typesetting small columns if you have to find good
        hyphenation breaks.

      . The difference between `s' and `ſ' helps much in the comprehension
        German, especially in identifying the boarders of components in
        compound words. For example, the famous `Wachstube' problem
        (either Wachs-tube or Wach-stube) doesn't exist if you use `ſ':

          Wachſtube -> Wach-Stube
          Wachstube -> Wachs-Tube

        Of course, this only works with Fraktur since there the use of `ſ'
        is mandatory.


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