by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/08/06 11:32 -07:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2006/08/06/690214.aspx
Okay, I admit it. When I pronounce the word italics, I say EYE-talics, not IH-talics. But I do say IH-talian, not EYE-talian when I see the word Italian.
I point this out because although she had never corrected me on this particular point even once before, or even ever hinted that the pronunciation was wrong, soon after she had some typography program managers reporting to her, Cathy pointed this out to me one day.
But in the end I think she was just enjoying correcting me; after all, both forms are acceptable in dictionaries for italics but not for Italian! I mean, the point of language is communication, and as long as people get the message neither pronunciation is really going to confuse anyone....
This post has little or nothing to do with that, but it is about italics. :-)
Well, actually it is about U+0453, a.k.a. CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER GJE.
It seems that depending on the font you choose, the italicizes differently. For example, in Tahoma it looks like this:
and with the new Segoe UI font it looks like this:
Boy, that Segoe UI one looks like it has a bug, doesn't it? I mean who on earth would expext a character that looks more like:
(a lowercase r or small gamma than anything else) in any font, including Segoe UI, look more like a reversed s just because it was italicized?
Turns out it is not a bug!
Simon Daniels talked with Steve Matteson of Ascender who had this to say:
the 'backwards s' is the preferred italic form for Russian lowercase Ghe but for Macedonian lowercase Gje it needs to stay the 'small gamma' shape. Sorry I don't know the specifics on why.
Looking up in Wikipedia's article about the Cyrillic script, it does say a bit about this:
In the absence of Roman and Italic traditions, Cyrillic type fonts are properly classified as upright (Russian: pryamoi shrift) and cursive (kursivnyi). Cursive or hand-written shapes of many letters, especially the lowercase letters, are entirely different from the upright shapes. As in Latin typography, a sans-serif face may have a mechanically-sloped oblique font (naklonnyi).
In Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian, some cursive letters are different from those used in other languages. These cursive letter shapes are often used in upright fonts as well, especially for road signs, inscriptions, posters and the like, less so in newspapers or books.
The article also links to another page that has a much fuller explanation, entitled Serbian Cyrillic Letters BE, GHE, DE, PE, TE. The page also talks a bit about the tradition of italics in typography, and the expectations here. A worthwhile read if you are interested in solutions here.
Now I will not go so far as to say that Tahoma and fonts that don't use this form are tailored for Bulgarian, Macedonian, or Serbian; in fact, I'll note that although Microsoft ships a 'Tahoma' and a 'Tahoma Bold' that we don't ship a 'Tahoma Italics'. Which kind of removes the easiest way to have an alternate form for the small Ghe, doesn't it? :-)
Between that and the fact that there is currently a Russian localization of Windows but not a Macedonian one, it sort of makes sense that the default form in the UI font of much of Vista and Office 2007 would follow the Russian glyph preference....
It does mean that the issue Chris Pirillo has pointed out here about the inconsistency of application of the new UI font (discussed previously here) might be a bit more worrying for Vista and Office 2007, since between MS Sans Serif, Tahoma, Segoe UI, and Microsoft Sans Serif, only Segoe UI is getting it right. This might make the Russian localization of Windows a bit more challenging with this inconistency of font being used, huh?
Luckily the uppercase form (U+0403) does not have this difference, so at worst it will just like we capitalize like morons in Russian in those places where the UI font is inconsistent? :-)
This post brought to you by ѓ (U+0453, a.k.a. Italicized CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER GJE)
# Rosyna on Sunday, August 06, 2006 5:19 PM:
# Srgjan Srepfler on Sunday, August 06, 2006 6:00 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:02 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:05 PM:
# Rosyna on Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:55 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on Sunday, August 06, 2006 9:03 PM:
# Alan McFarlane on Monday, August 07, 2006 3:07 AM:
# Dean Harding on Monday, August 07, 2006 9:37 PM:
# DmitryKo on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 4:25 AM:
# RubenP on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 5:57 PM:
# Si on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 6:33 PM:
# Srgjan Srepfler on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 10:35 PM:
# Alan McFarlane on Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:27 PM:
2006/08/08 When the font is the boss of you
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