A 1648 "smiley face"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Apr 16 03:30:25 UTC 2014

On 4/15/2014 7:05 PM, Christopher Philippo wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Christopher Philippo <toff at MAC.COM>
> Subject:      Re: A 1648 "smiley face"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I wouldn’t have thought a search for typographical symbols would necessarily work.  Given that it is, could a search be done for “:)” where that is not preceded by an open parenthesis “(“?
> If anyone is or knows someone who can identify uncommon typographical symbols: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7Mt-S77wZKfZmVCWEVtc2pIWWM/edit?usp=sharing
> In particular I’m looking to identify the cursive P-like character that’s the second character in the second row and which reappears a few times throughout, and the Pi-like symbol with an upward-curving tail on its right leg that’s the first character in the second row.  I regret I don’t have a better copy of the image at present.

It seems the "P" is for "per". It seems the other is "lb" with a
horizontal bar superimposed, for "pound". These are shown on p. 3002 of
my copy of the old big Merriam-Webster dictionary (MW2).

-- Doug Wilson

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

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