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Re: Ye Olde Englishe

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.



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