I need your help!

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Feb 10 04:30:05 UTC 2006

I'd call the upright part of the letter "J" the "shank" and the curved part the "hook" or "bend." I'd also call any horizontal line a "horizontal" and any vertical line a "vertical." The lower part of a "U" I'd call the "bend" or the "arc."  A "V," on the other hand, I'd say has a "point" or an "angle."

  Just winging it, of course.


  Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: I need your help!

>I am writing a children's story, and have anthropomorphized letters
>of the alphabet. I have a need to make my letters move their "arms,
>legs, and dots," as well as any other letter "body" part that might
>be able to move.
>Are there names for the different parts of a letter, such as the
>legs of an A, or the individual two lines of a T, etc. etc.

Well, for H I can imagine (especially during and just after football
season) using "upright" for the two verticals and "crossbar" for the
horizontal, and I can also imagine extending this to the mono-upright
T. The dot on the i (or on the j) is often called...a "dot". I
think I've come across "transverse" for some of the horizontal lines.

That's about as fur as I can go, unless you count "serif".

Larry Horn

> What about the dot on an i, as well as the curve on the bottom of
>the letter J? My linguistics professors at UWEC suggested I contact
>this listserv --- that you fine folks have all the right answers!
>Is there a reference I can find for these names, or does one of you
>have a handy cheat sheet for this?
>If the parts don't have names (and what doesn't have a name in this
>world? :-) if you think you have a couple good names to use for
>parts, feel free to share these as well...I'm more than happy to use
>really neat fictitious names as well.
>Thanks in advance for any help you can give! Most of all, my
>characters thank you too!
>chris shaw
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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