Archive for Typography

Legco logo

This is the logo of Legco, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong:

It is a stylization of the "lap立" ("set up; erect; establish; enact") of:

Hoeng1gong2 dak6bit6 hang4zing3 keoi1 lap6faat3 wui6 (Jyutping)

Hēunggóng dahkbiht hàhngjing kēui laahpfaat wúih (Yale)

Xiānggǎng tèbié xíngzhèng qū lìfǎ huì (Hanyu pinyin)

香港特別行政區立法會

now written in PRC simplified characters as

香港特别行政区立法会

"Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region"

or, for short:

Laap6faat3 wui5 (Jyutping)

Laahp faat wúih (Yale)

Lìfǎ Huì (Hanyu pinyin)

立法會

now written in PRC simplified characters as

立法会

"Legislative Council"

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (8)

Typefaces of (anti-public-health) protest

The first of eight in a partial survey:

See the whole thread.

Comments (16)

Multilingual Utica confronts COVID-19

From Brenton Recht:

I live in a city with a large immigrant population in general and a large Bosnian population in particular (Utica, NY [VHM: population around 60,000; between Syracuse and Schenectady]). As such, I see "BiH" bumper stickers once in a while on the road. Most of the Bosnian population either came during the breakup of Yugoslavia or are children of those immigrants, so they are probably following the American trend of putting round stickers on your car for things you like or identify with, rather than the European usage of using them to identify country of origin.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (37)

"One I first saw": more on homophonically induced typing errors

A little over a week ago, I described how I mistyped "stalk" for "stock".  That led to a vigorous discussion of precisely how people pronounce "stalk".  (As a matter of fact, in my own idiolect I do pronounce "stock" and "stalk" identically.)  See:

"Take stalk of: thoughts on philology and Sinology" (3/29/20)

I just now typed "One I first saw…" when I meant "When I first saw…".

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (46)

Hong Kong government poster

From Donald Clarke:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7)

How to write "write" in Chinese and Japanese

The word for "write" in Modern Standard Mandarin (MSM) is xiě.   The traditional form of the Sinograph used to write this word is 寫, var. 冩 (can you see the difference?).  In Japanese that would be pronounced "sha" or "utsusu", but it is considered an uncommon character (hyōgaiji), and means not "write", but "transcribe; duplicate; reproduce; imitate; trace; describe​; to film; to picture; to photograph".

There are a number of words for "write" in modern Japanese (e.g., arawasu 著す, shirusu 記す), but the most common is kaku 書く.  Yes, that kanji means "book" in MSM, but it meant "write" in early Sinitic, whereas 寫 means "write" in MSM but meant "to place; to displace; to relocate; to carry; to relay; to express; to pour out [one's heart, troubles, etc.]; to copy; to transcribe; to follow; to describe; to depict; to draft; to create quotations; to draw; to sketch; to make a portrait; to sign; to formalize" in Literary Sinitic (LS) and Classical Sinitic (CS)   This is a good example of how Japanese often tends to retain older meanings of characters in the modern language, whereas in MSM characters have a propensity to take on new and quite different, unexpected meanings (e.g., zǒu 走 ["walk" in MSM] meant "run" in LS and CS).

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (49)

Mongolian script on RMB bills

Comments (3)

Radical emphasis

Tong Wang spotted this poster in a Beijing elevator:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (9)

Sino-English graphic tour de force

Jeff DeMarco saw this on Facebook:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (5)

Font adjustment: Times Beef Noodle

Tweet  by Noelle Mateer:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2)

Spacing within words

Speaking of spaces between syllables (but, as in this case, not all syllables), as we have been in recent posts, this photograph of a sign in China was sent in by Paul Midler:

But the lettering is very nice!

Comments (8)

An inconclusive psycholinguistic take on post-period spacing

A while back, I peeved about the people for whom public devotion to single-spacing after a period is a form of virtue-signaling. I’ve now learned that the one-space-or-two issue has found its way into the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, which has posted “Are two spaces better than one? The effect of spacing following periods and commas during reading” ($) by Rebecca Johnson, Becky Bui, and Lindsay Schmitt.

The paper came to my attention via Matthew Butterick, the author of Typography for Lawyers and the free, online-only Butterick’s Practical Typography ("Are two spaces better than one? A response to new research"). He writes:

Ap­par­ently de­fy­ing Bet­teridge’s Law, the study claims to show that two spaces af­ter a pe­riod are eas­ier to read than one. On its face, this also seems to con­tra­dict my long­stand­ing ad­vice to put only one space be­tween sen­tences.

Be­cause the study costs $39.95 for a PDF, I’m cer­tain the so­cial-me­dia skep­tics rush­ing to claim vic­tory for two-spac­ing have nei­ther bought it nor read it. But I did both.

True, the re­searchers found that putting two spaces af­ter a pe­riod de­liv­ered a “small” but “sta­tis­ti­cally … de­tectable” im­prove­ment in read­ing speed—about 3%—but cu­ri­ously, only for those read­ers who al­ready type with two spaces. For ha­bit­ual one-spac­ers, there was no ben­e­fit at all.

Fur­ther­more, the re­searchers only tested sam­ples of a mono­spaced font on screen …. They didn’t test pro­por­tional fonts, which they ac­knowl­edge are far more com­mon. Nor did they test the ef­fect of two-spac­ing on the printed page. The au­thors con­cede that any of these test-de­sign choices could’ve af­fected their findings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (42)

Hey Geoff (Pullum),…

In MS Word, buried deep in File|Options|Advanced|Compatibility Options|Layout is the option to check 'Do full justification the way WordPerfect 6.x for Windows does'". If you use full justification, your document will look ugly unless you check that box.

Does that qualify as a form of nerdview?

Comments (10)