Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Wed Feb 10 15:04:54 UTC 2010

Good finds, Victor. I find myself agreeing with the beginning of the
1855 note and the 1893 note. Confusion about earlier engrossed
letters seems logical to me. In nice neat texts they could set off
initial letters by changing to a different script (such as capitalis
or uncial), but in a quick chancery cursive they were unlikely to do

I cracked open my paleography stuff and didn't find anything that
looked like an ff, but that's not evidence of anything.

I also had it backwards on the long-s form: some of the examples I
just looked at actually had long-s initially and medially but not
terminally. So, doubling for an initial f to avoid confusion with
long-s might also be at play, either in the original or the

I also have to admit that I'm much more familiar with the early
Middle Ages than the late MA (1400s), which is where the materials
they've been discussing is from.

---Dangerous Amy West

>Date:    Tue, 9 Feb 2010 22:16:21 -0500
>From:    Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Re: ffolliott
>More 1893 stuff and much earlier. Although I could not find the main
>1892 article that is supposed to be definitive, the rest is rather
>convincing (to me). I added an extra item on a variation of double-f in
>a different context, but note that the explanation is similar (although
>the underlying source of the error is different). As for the letter, it
>makes perfect sense that the transcription was incorrect--note the
>comments in the clippings below about ffor, ffrom, etc.

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