A bidirectional text contains both text directionalities, right-to-left (RTL or dextrosinistral) and left-to-right (LTR or sinistrodextral). It generally involves text containing different types of alphabets, but may also refer to boustrophedon, which is changing text direction in each row.
Some writing systems including the Arabic and Hebrew scripts or derived systems such as the Persian, Urdu, and Yiddish scripts, are written in a form known as right-to-left (RTL), in which writing begins at the right-hand side of a page and concludes at the left-hand side. This is different from the left-to-right (LTR) direction used by the dominant Latin script. When LTR text is mixed with RTL in the same paragraph, each type of text is written in its own direction, which is known as bidirectional text. This can get rather complex when multiple levels of quotation are used.
Many computer programs fail to display bidirectional text correctly. For example, the Hebrew name Sarah (שרה) is spelled: sin (ש) (which appears rightmost), then resh (ר), and finally heh (ה) (which should appear leftmost).
Note: Some web browsers may display the Hebrew text in this article in the opposite direction.
- "txet lanoitcerid-iB" | 2014-11-27 | 105 Upvotes 14 Comments
A keyset or chorded keyboard (also called a chorded keyset, chord keyboard or chording keyboard) is a computer input device that allows the user to enter characters or commands formed by pressing several keys together, like playing a "chord" on a piano. The large number of combinations available from a small number of keys allows text or commands to be entered with one hand, leaving the other hand free. A secondary advantage is that it can be built into a device (such as a pocket-sized computer or a bicycle handlebar) that is too small to contain a normal-sized keyboard.
A chorded keyboard minus the board, typically designed to be used while held in the hand, is called a keyer. Douglas Engelbart introduced the chorded keyset as a computer interface in 1968 at what is often called "The Mother of All Demos".
- "Chorded keyboard" | 2019-08-20 | 97 Upvotes 59 Comments
The FE-Schrift or Fälschungserschwerende Schrift (forgery-impeding typeface) is a sans serif typeface introduced for use on licence plates. Its monospaced letters and numbers are slightly disproportionate to prevent easy modification and to improve machine readability. It has been developed in Germany where it has been mandatory since November 2000.
The abbreviation "FE" is derived from the compound German adjective "fälschungserschwerend" combining the noun "Fälschung" (falsification) and the verb "erschweren" (to hinder). "Schrift" means font in German. Other countries have later introduced the same or a derived typeface for license plates taking advantage of the proven design for the FE-Schrift.
The IBM Selectric typewriter was a highly successful line of electric typewriters introduced by IBM on 31 July 1961.
Instead of the "basket" of individual typebars that swung up to strike the ribbon and page in a typical typewriter of the period, the Selectric had an "element" (frequently called a "typeball", or less formally, a "golf ball") that rotated and pivoted to the correct position before striking. The element could be easily changed so as to use different fonts in the same document typed on the same typewriter, resurrecting a capability that had been pioneered by typewriters such as the Hammond and Blickensderfer in the late 19th century. The Selectric also replaced the traditional typewriter's horizontally moving carriage with a roller (platen) that turned to advance the paper but did not move horizontally, while the typeball and ribbon mechanism did.
The Selectric mechanism was notable for using internal mechanical binary coding and two mechanical digital-to-analog converters, called whiffletree linkages, to select the character to be typed.
Selectrics and their descendants eventually captured 75 percent of the United States market for electric typewriters used in business. IBM replaced the Selectric line with the IBM Wheelwriter in 1984 and transferred its typewriter business to the newly formed Lexmark in 1991. By its 25th anniversary, in 1986, a total of more than 13 million machines were made and sold.
- "IBM Selectric Typewriter" | 2013-03-20 | 34 Upvotes 34 Comments
An ink trap is a feature of certain typefaces designed for printing in small sizes. At an ink trap, the corners or details are removed from the letterforms. When the type is printed, ink naturally spreads into the removed area. Without ink traps, the excess ink would soak outwards and ruin the crisp edge.
Ink traps are only needed for small point sizes and are usually only found on typefaces designed for printing on newsprint. Fonts of this kind are applicable for classifieds or telephone books. Typefaces with ink traps may be offered in versions without them for display on screen or at larger sizes.
Typefaces featuring ink traps include Retina, Bell Centennial, and Tang.
- "Ink trap" | 2014-03-28 | 220 Upvotes 44 Comments
An intentionally blank page or vacat page (from Latin: vacare for "being empty") is a page that is devoid of content and may be unexpected. Such pages may serve purposes ranging from place-holding to space-filling and content separation. Sometimes, these pages carry a notice such as "This page [is] intentionally left blank." Such notices typically appear in printed works, such as legal documents, manuals, and exam papers, in which the reader might otherwise suspect that the blank pages are due to a printing error and where missing pages might have serious consequences.
- "Intentionally Blank Page" | 2019-12-06 | 23 Upvotes 18 Comments
Irony punctuation is any proposed form of notation used to denote irony or sarcasm in text. Written English lacks a standard way to mark irony, and several forms of punctuation have been proposed. Among the oldest and most frequently attested is the percontation point proposed by English printer Henry Denham in the 1580s, and the irony mark, used by Marcellin Jobard and French poet Alcanter de Brahm during the 19th century. Both marks take the form of a reversed question mark, "⸮".
Irony punctuation is primarily used to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level. A bracketed exclamation point or question mark as well as scare quotes are also occasionally used to express irony or sarcasm.
- "Irony punctuation" | 2010-08-12 | 30 Upvotes 17 Comments
The long s (ſ) is an archaic form of the lower case letter s. It replaced the single s, or the first s in a double s (e.g. "ſinfulneſs" for "sinfulness" and "ſucceſs" for "success"). The long s is the basis of the first half of the grapheme or the German alphabet ligature letter ß, which is known as the Eszett. The modern letterform is known as the short, terminal, or round s.
The printer’s key, also known as the number line, is a line of text printed on the copyright page (often the verso of the title page, especially in English-language publishing) of books, used to indicate the print run. Publishers began this convention about the middle of the 20th century.
An example follows:
This is how the printer's key will appear in the first print run of a book. Numbers are removed with subsequent printings, so if "1" is seen then the book is the first printing of that edition. If it is the second printing then the "1" is removed, meaning that the lowest number seen will be "2".
- "Printer's key" | 2015-08-06 | 66 Upvotes 15 Comments
"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is an English-language pangram—a sentence that contains all of the letters of the alphabet. It is commonly used for touch-typing practice, testing typewriters and computer keyboards, displaying examples of fonts, and other applications involving text where the use of all letters in the alphabet is desired. Owing to its brevity and coherence, it has become widely known.
- "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" | 2010-06-14 | 14 Upvotes 5 Comments