Unusual typographical symbols [was: A 1648 "smiley face"]

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 16 06:32:48 UTC 2014

On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 8:40 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Unusual typographical symbols [was: A 1648 "smiley face"]
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> At 4/15/2014 07:05 PM, Christopher Philippo wrote:
> >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 "("?
> I gather that the search by Benjamin Schmidt that Ben Zimmer refers
> to is in a database that retains punctuation symbols as searchable
> characters.  Unlike Google Books (and, perhaps, EEBO and ECCO).  So
> :) can be found.  However, I'm unable to think of a useful
> proposition (wild card search) that would find ":) not preceded by
> (".  How far back would one have to go, and what preceding characters
> would be permitted or excluded?
> >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.
> What is the date of this prototype for a poem?  Can you get an enlargement?
> Perhaps the "cursive p-like character" is one of the "special marks
> for abbreviations" used in transcriptions of early modern manuscripts
> -- a lower case p with a bar through the descender, which would stand
> for "per", "par", "pur", or "pear".  I'm sure there are more readable
> lists, but the one I know of is "Records of the Colony of New
> Plymouth", vol. 1, page v, here:
> http://tinyurl.com/pwatv8l
> I don't know what to make of the "Pi-like symbol with an
> upward-curving tail".  It's too indistinct for me.
> Joel
> >Christopher K. Philippo
> >
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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