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Subject: Re: Piat d'Or
From: Gunnar Swanson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 Apr 2004 16:11:01 -0700
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Am I the only one having trouble following this discussion? The image
at http://www.piat.co.uk/winery.htm isn't clear enough to really see
the apostrophe. I assume from the combination of that photo and the
original complaint about it that someone had seen the label itself and
determined that the mark in question was a squat tick mark--a fat
version of the mark one gets when one hits the rightmost character key
on the third row of an English language typewriter.

Then Dave told us that "whole argument about 'proper' apostrophes is
laughable" because "fully vertical apostrophes were not at all
uncommon" until after World War II. I assumed that he was saying that
there were commonly separate characters for apostrophes and closing
single quotation marks since I have never noticed type without
differentiation between opening and closing quotation marks.

Is this a claim about type design (i.e., the preferred amount of
tendency toward symmetry of the design of an apostrophe glyph) or in
defense of using "dumb quotes"? Or is the claim that there should be
another character? Should we use the tick mark as an apostrophe but the
(traditional/not traditional) opening and closing single quotation
marks?

The reply that "The use of two separate marks was uncommon prior to the
20th century and increasingly uncommon the farther back you go
historically" leaves me confused as to what marks were not commonly
separate--the opening and closing single quotation mark or the closing
single quotation mark and the apostrophe. The latter may argue against
Dave's claims (depending on what, precisely, they are.) The former
would require some examples for me to believe it to be true.

Then Miss Tiffany is refreshed but I don't know whether her condition
is attributable to the defense of the use of "dumb quotes," the design
of apostrophes that are less of a contrast with an opening single
quotation mark than some, by a third useful variant of the single
raised mark, or by the type of the wine label (either the original or
the JPEG we were pointed toward.) Or maybe it was just a general
failure to quote Bob Bringhurst that did the trick.

Did I misunderstand the original post? Was it an objection to the
typeface design? It seemed to me to be a claim that a tick mark was
used and that the URL was the only representation he could direct us
to.

Who is claiming what here? Apologies in advance if I'm just too fried
to follow clear conversation.

Gunnar

On Apr 20, 2004, at 3:35 PM, Miss Tiffany wrote:

> This is almost refreshing. --- While I do think that Bringhurst's book
> can be thought of as a guide for typographer's, it is nice to see
> people avoiding the knee-jerk reaction to dogmatically quote him.
----------
Gunnar Swanson Design Office
536 South Catalina Street
Ventura California 93001-3625 USA

+1 805 667-2200
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