[XeTeX] Ligatures question

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Wed Jun 3 08:50:05 CEST 2009

Hello Nicolas

There's no objection on aesthetic grounds, or even grammatical ones.  But there certainly is on linguistic ones if you are setting a classical text, as has been explained.  For a medieval one you could argue the toss on a per-case basis.  Ignore the publishers - they don't know about that sort of thing!  We are a long way from the scholar-printers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, alas.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Nicolas Vaughan 
  To: Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms 
  Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:02 PM
  Subject: Re: [XeTeX] Ligatures question

  I'm sorry, but I´ll have agree with Fr. Michael. I doesn't seem wrong, neither aesthetically, nor grammatically, to use these kinds of ligatures. If nowadays there have gone out of fashion, or if there doesnt seem to be any more use for them, I don't mind at all. I have typeset several Latin language editions using these ligatures and they seem beautiful---and the publishers for whom I've worked also seem to like them.

  And what would be the beauty of [Xe]LaTeX --- to quote Dario Taraborelli --- without ligatures?

  Best wishes.

  On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 4:21 PM, Fr. Michael Gilmary <FrMichaelGilmary at maronitemonks.org> wrote:

    John Was wrote:

      I meant to add that ct, st, sh, Qu, and whatever other kind of ornamental ligs, swash caps, etc. are available are indeed just a matter of taste, and if you want a flamboyant effect, by all means go ahead (*trying* not to over-egg the pudding - it is the word-processor's disease to use every trick available, while typographers should exercise restraint).  But as should be clear, use of the ae/oe glyphs in Latin would diminish the edition in the eyes of those who are in a position to read the Latin in the first place.

    Thanks to John and David for the update for us non-classicists! The edition of the Nova Vulgata that I use doesn't use those lig/digs, nor do the various editions of the Sisto-Clementine Vulgate.  But an early 20th century edition of St. Thomas (ST and SCG as well as his commentaries on Scripture) /do/ use them. 

    It's interesting what David said about the confusion of the two ae/oe ... I've often wondered about that (coelum vel caelum ?) Personally, I like the archaic look.

    As for the exceptions list, it proves helpful at least for enabling the use of the diaeresis for correct pronunciation (mostly, it's for proper names, as mentioned).


United in adoration of Jesus, 

fr. michael gilmary, mma

Most Holy Trinity Monastery
67 Dugway Road
Petersham, MA 01366-9725

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