Friday, 5 November 2010

A letter character, to words, to language ... to fonts (ABCs again!) ... to Stephen Fry and Kinetic Typography

I cannot believe I am back on typography – but there it is .. but with two decidedly eminent experts this time ... one from The Saturday Times and the man himself Stephen Fry, Twitterer par excellence.

Words – they fascinate ‘us bloggers’ .. authors, bloggers, journalers, diarists, columnists, alike – we use them with impunity ... without thought .. the words appear, we type, note them down, record them ... then we edit. But where do they spring from ... how do they appear ...

U.S. Theatrical poster by Tom Chantrell – One Million Years B.C.

For my own part I wonder more and more – as I would say my education was good, but my concept of it and results therefrom were poor ... so where do words emanate from & how does our command of word language happen .. perhaps you wonder at your own language roots?

Words ‘hit me’ now-a-days ... I need to write them down and look them up, I clarify meanings and am surprised at how thick I am sometimes – when a word’s meaning is so obvious – but my mind is blank. Yet I can write these posts ... do you feel the same way?

My mind is open .. and it receives – that is for sure, and I am certain fellow readers your minds are too. So back to words, type, fonts, letters and their changing ways ..

The Saturday Times (unfortunately you have to subscribe) recently printed an Alphabet Wallchart (A celebration of type from American typewriter to Zapf Dingbats!) and I love it ... but also I had not realised that there are so many typefaces .. and I am sure there are many more than the 28 displayed.

I did intentionally type 28 ... for some reason The Saturday Times printed 28 , including ‘”T” as the Dingbats typeface’, while the extra two are ‘Ampersand using Farnham’ and ‘Manhatten which is used for The New Yorker masthead’.

Caslon typeface

The Ampersand is an interesting ‘word’ .. and is now rarely used when writing paragraphs, and its main surviving use is in the formal names of businesses or when the ampersand forms part of a registered name, it should not be replaced with the word ‘and’.

Interestingly though with the growth of mobile phone usage and text messaging, the ampersand is gaining new use in SMS language both as a representation for the word “and” and in ‘rebus’ form where the ampersand represents ‘anned’ .. as in the word “planned”.
Historical evolution of the Ampersand

The term 'rebus' also refers to the use of a pictogram to represent a syllabic sound. This adapts pictograms into phonograms. A precursor to the development of the alphabet, this process represents one of the most important developments of writing. Fully developed hieroglyphs read in rebus fashion were in use at Abydos in Egypt as early as 3400 BC.

Also, it was common practice to add at the end of the alphabet the "&" sign, pronounced "and". Thus, the recitation of the alphabet would end in: "X, Y, Z and per se and." This last phrase was routinely slurred to "ampersand" and the term crept into common English usage by around 1837.

I will not print out all the typefaces here .. but if you would like me to – I can do a supplementary post listing and displaying them – up to you!! However one or two:

On the wallposter “Yy” Caslon typeface – originated in the UK, being designed by William Caslon in 1720. This typeface was used for the US Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the “Les Miserables” poster.

Then there is Garamond designed in the 1540s by Claude Garamond of France which is used in the large picture books of Dr Seuss. The American versions of Harry Potter all use the Adobe Garamond typeface.
"Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat" in the Sculpture Memorial Garden, Springfield, Massachusetts

And so we go on .. from typeface stories .. more words, more interesting snippets of historical facts – again where did they come from .. Charles Darwin showed that traits must be inherited before evolution can occur ... our hereditary genius ... the Ancient Romans considered genius as the guiding or “tutelary” spirit of a person, or even an entire gens .. the plural of which is genii.

To etymology then – the study of word origins (it is not the study of insects; that is entomology.) I subscribe to the blog, which has some amazing posts .. and it is to this blog that we must go to find Stephen Fry’s kinetic typography .. I just loved this video – 6 minutes may seem a long time .. but it flew .. here is the master speaker at work, a video representation of the power of language and a media presentation that engages ...

I am sure, like me, you will find this entertaining and informative ... enjoy: www.Word and their Video Friday – highlighting Stephen Fry and Kinetic Typography.

This post was meant to be short and sweet ... well the problem is .. I go delving and find all sorts of interesting topics ... where to go, what to leave out and when to stop .. this time now! Well soon once I have rounded it up ..

.. but I won't .. just one more pretty ampersand ... denoting the word 'and'

Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC, I believe, grunted gutturally through the film .. did she need to do more? No!, skeletal changes occurred, language developed, the written word arrived.. first as rebuses in the form of hieroglyphics, and so through Greek and Roman times to date we search our origins .. we gather roots – we are still hunter gatherers - but now of words and their origins .. change occurs ... mobile technology and speech recognition tools will introduce more changes as the human being ever evolves onwards.

The link: Word Origins Blog and Stephen Fry and Kinetic Typography

Dear Mr Postman .. my mother was pleased to see my return .. saying she was feeling better as I had come back (3 days).. – but it’s comforting to know that she really appreciates my being there. She is sleeping much more or is not able to stay awake .. but she can still tell me why the cyclamen are dying .. they’re in a draaught! As I’ve killed those sweet scented plants off .. I now have jewel anemones, the first of the season Paper Whites – wonderfully scented narcissi - and some daffodils - all beautiful.. which she will enjoy seeing and smelling.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


The Exception said...

Hillary –
I love words so this is right up my alley. Their history and the stories that go with them and the characters intrigue me. There are some great posts/articles out there on the different fonts (mostly just funny). I personally don’t like “text” type (spelling) as we have such great words… I really don’t like such type when it is used in e-mail etc. It is intriguing to see how many people do not like certain fonts – and dislike is an understatement. It appears that font can convey tone.
Love that you have decorated your house with flowers… Lovely. A friend of mine has decided that he wants to buy a horse farm (?) in England…
Have a wonderful weekend.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi TE .. I know what you mean .. I just get sucked right in when words are out there .. as in the Stephen Fry video - which I found fascinating on many levels: Stephen Fry elaborates on texting and the change ahead .. interesting thoughts ...

Yes the lady, Ruth Lewy, who wrote the piece for The Saturday Times said that a friend of hers, who is not into design, took 2 weeks to decide what font to use for his blog .. me - I just want my words out there! Amazing what people allow to impact them personally .. I wonder if they think of others reading?!

Actually it's Mum's room in the Nursing Home - anything to give it some life .. & something I've done each week since she's been ill .. everyone remarks on them!!

Your friend I suspect wants to buy a stud .. not what you & I are thinking of?!?! .. but a stud farm! Fantastic .. it will be lovely to see him here ..

You too have a lovely weekend .. fireworks are ringing out here .. Hilary

Southpaw said...

I studied graphic design in college so I’m a big font fan. I have more than 50 in my personal font directory. It’s always amaze me how font’s can evoke feelings by simply curving the “s” slightly different, creating elaborate serifs, or a stretching and pulling them to elongate them.

Generally, I prefer serif fonts – except when I type and read on the internet. Books? I prefer the serif. I do not know why.

I love the flowery ampersand.

Patricia Stoltey said...

You get interested in and involved in your post topics in the same way I get tangled up doing internet research when all I wanted was the answer to one little question. I see one interesting link, follow it to another, and time passes.

Inquiring minds...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly .. you're enormously talented on design .. I'm just starting out I guess .. & you have a personal font directory - where?!

Isn't it funny I understand what you're saying about fonts .. but to me .. it's letters & thus words.

When I come for tea .. you'll have to explain all these serifs, fonts et al .. to me .... thank you!!

Great - I'm so pleased I put the flowery ampersand in ..

Lovely seeing you here .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. how right you are .. but the post changes too .. what was straightforward .. becomes I hope more interesting!!

I try not to spend too much time - but occasionally I slip off the radar! Like you .. it is fascinating ..

As you say inquiring minds .. great to see you here .. & I loved your car chase video .. I will probably 'borrow' that too .. anon ..

See you here or there soon! .. Hilary

Karen Lange said...

This post is full of cool things for writers! Appreciate the links, and all your thought and research that go into these.
Happy weekend!
Karen :)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Hilary, I love words. I think about words, and dream about words. I try very hard not to get in a situation where I would have to eat my words, however. :)

Great post.

Paul C said...

I'm also fascinated with words and appreciate the link to word origins. Etymologies reveal how our language evolves and develops over time. Most interesting.

Paul Martin said...

Evolution of language is fascinating. In high school I had a teacher who once brought in a recording of someone reading the same text in... I forget all the terms, but Old English, Middle English - different stages.

It was so strange. The reader started with modern English then took you "backwards in time." What I remember most vividly was a certain period where to my ear, it sounded like English in an auditory sense - but I could catch maybe one out of twenty words. It was a strange sensation.

Time travelers beware!

vered said...

"Interestingly though with the growth of mobile phone usage and text messaging" - this sentence has reminded me that I read somewhere that teens don't really talk anymore.. they text. So very little in-person talking, and almost no talking on the phone. Not saying it's good or bad... just interesting.

Anonymous said...

Its very late here and I've finished my one day a week bottle of wine. However, I did see Raquel Welch (Miss Fussy Britches from Shawshank Redemption) and I'm at a los for words. I'll have to check back tomorrow to leave a comment. Thanks for the image of Ms. Welch!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I hope you enjoy the video .. worth a watch with a funny twist .. and the blog is an interesting one ..

Thanks for coming by - lovely to see you & you too have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. I know words, words, glorious words .. but to eat them .. not a good position to be in.

Do hope you're getting yourself sorted out - ready for the new world ahead .. should be so interesting ..

Have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paul .. thanks for leaving a comment .. your trip round the Parks was such fun .. and I enjoyed it so much.

I always think of you and words as I get your posts .. and know you'll enjoy Word Origins. It became quite complicated as I delved .. as Paul Martin says below ..

But I love the learning .. have a good weekend at home & good to see you here .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paul .. that must have been fascinating - having the experience of listening to those words read in the different formats - so interesting!

I wonder if that recording is on YouTube? .. I'm sure it would be .. it sounds as though it would be a really good thing to have the opportunity to hear .. and listen .. so we can 'see' some of how the language developed.

I love your description .. I can 'feel' how you felt listening to the different stages of English.

Thanks Paul - such an interesting comment to have .. really appreciate you being here ..

Time travellers beware as you say! we certainly wouldn't understand any of those old plays if they were made into film .. (or staged) ..

Have a good weekend .. and thanks again for this wonderful comment - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered .. it appears that you're right .. the teens of today will need to learn to read and write properly for the real world. & conversation is another topic .. communication is certainly something serious that we need to address.

Do they think before they text? A change of words to the old think before you speak ...

The new technology .. allows people to write well (edited thoroughly & thought about), but for many more people it allows for a badly written message - either poor communication, poor grammar .. or can just cause a lot of damage .... and that will be a problem. The same applies to a badly written website ...

.. the new age for all the technological marvels is still writing-based and conversation-based.

Stephen Fry in his video puts it well .. it's not down to us though .. it's the generations coming along behind.

It is interesting - exactly as you say .. thanks for being here .. have a great weekend with the family .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. thanks even for hitting the button to this blog .. at that hour I'd have been well tucked up!

I thought the Raquel poster was a good hook .. even though it's relevant in another context!

Your book tour .. I have to catch up ... I'm loving the format you've set up .. when your book arrives - I'll have a day off with some vino & read it through!!

Enjoy the weekend .. with some relaxation somewhere sometime .. cheers Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Hilary, love how you go 'tip toe through the tulips' and meander to all kinds of thought-provoking places. All of this encourages readers to raise awareness of why they make certain choices and how feel about them. After all, awakening is why we exist. We do things at our own pace. It does not matter how we raise self-awareness yet it is very meaningful journey to take more consciously.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. thanks for coming over and tiptoeing through the tulips of language with me!

I hope it gets others thinking about different things and from a different perspective - as I certainly do!

I am certainly changing my thought processes .. and opening my mind .. and as you say awakening is why we exist.

I have to say I don't think I could put it any better .. this journey has become very meaningful.

Great to see you here .. thanks enjoy Sunday .. Hilary

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

I use the ampersand all the time, although my lazy version of it looks more like an x or a t.

I've taught my students to use it when doing jot notes to save time and space.

& like you say, it's used in text messaging a lot now-a-days.

Everything old is new again.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chase .. me too .. and I forget how to write it sometimes!!

Do you teach your students to use the 'therefore' sign or the 'because' sign .. that I used to use?

'Therefore' is .'. and 'because' is the other way up? '.' using dots?

& exactly as you say .. it's being used a lot more .. & everything old is new again --- that surprises people when they think about it!!

Good to see you & cheers to you too .. Hilary

Joanne said...

Words, words, words. Beautiful, aren't they, with all they are capable of, and ever changing. With so much technology being used to communicate these days, I feel more big changes are coming with the use of words. Texting and i-m'ing and tweeting and what have you are bringing lots of shortcuts to our phrases and words. We're becoming very economical with them in that way.

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

We use "b/c" for because. I find that especially useful in math since I don't require them to write in complete grammatical sentences to show me their thinking.

I haven't used the therefore sign since university - haven't even thought of it since then. Thanks for the reminder there.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne ... they are beautiful and ever evolving .. what next, as you ask. Like you I'm sure big change is coming .. though I question about legislation, regulation etc .. can these be simplified down, made sparser?

We certainly are becoming economical in our word usage .. do we understand more I wonder - can we converse and invoke reasoning into our economical words ...

Interesting times .. good to have your thoughts .. Have a good Sunday .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chase .. thanks for coming back to me .. I forgot your class are the younger ones ..

I suppose we develop our own shortform to an extent, and 'take'/copy from others.

I use the 'therefore' sign all the time .. especially when I'm taking notes .. glad I reminded you!

Enjoy today .. when it arrives! Hilary

Sibyl - alternaview said...

Hilary: Fascinating and informative as always. I have never even looked this closely at fonts and learned so much from this post. Thanks for the great and interesting information.

Anonymous said...

I can always count on learning something new here. So that's how the ampersand originated. "And per se." Tha'ts trivial, but very interesting. I ponder things of etymology often. Maybe that's why I like Dan Brn's books so much.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sibyl .. great to see you & glad you enjoyed it .. I too found out lots - and design .. something I know so little about - but interested to read more about it.

Have a good week ahead .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen ... thanks for coming back .. I just love the snippets of information - because it's our roots from way back when. Etymology - like you .. I love reading about it & finding out more.

Perhaps I'd read Dan Brown's books with wider eyes now .. the symbolism might take centre stage!

I'm behind with your blog tour .. but determined to catch up!! Enjoying the different takes on the interviews .. it's fun to read .. enjoy this week .. Hilary

Unknown said...

Hi Hilary,

Great share! Thank you! I enjoy learning history of English in many aspect, including typography. It was particularly interesting knowing the evolution and change of "&".

Please keep writing more about English history. I like them.

I posted a Xuer Video on my Blog. Please come visit my Blog whenever you have time.

Thanks, again!
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. thanks - so pleased to hear you enjoy it .. and that change to the ampersand!

I keep writing .. changing the topic .. as the whim takes me ..

Good to see you - cheers Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

Ahhh, narcissi, my favorite. I will watch for them around the bench I photographed a couple weeks ago, which ended up in the poem to my dying friend. They appear there pretty-much anytime after Christmas.

The ampersand! I had no idea this symbol... & was called that. I do use it a lot and love that cute little fella. Or gal? :)

Love the origin of words. And human language aquisition too. Did you know that at 6 months of age babies are heard to repeat each and every sound in their native tougues? Yep! At least that's what some of my fancy book-learnin' done teeched me!

And did you know that Raquel Welch is perhaps the best-looking 70 year old of our day and age? Yep -- saw her on Fox News a month ago or so. She has a new book out.

And did you know someone has received a lovely packet of cartes postales?



Southpaw said...

I collect fonts. You can buy them or some are available for free on the internet. There is also software out there that lets you create your own font!

There is a cute youtube video about fonts.

Deborah Ann said...

Very interesting blog! Cheers!

Chris Edgar said...

Hi Hilary -- I think I get what you're saying when it comes to how words arise when we're writing -- I'm always mystified at how the process works, because writing doesn't seem like an activity I'm rigidly "in control" of, at least when it's flowing at a reasonable pace. It has me reflect: maybe all of life is actually like that, and we don't really have the amount of control over it that we think, and perhaps this can be a catalyst for helping us let go and relax into who we are.

Tristan said...

What a great post!!! I studied linguistics at university and I found all of this absolutely fascinating. I especially enjoyed the etymology of "ampersand." So great!

A lot of people are so against any kind of new words or changes in the English language because these things muddle "pure" English, but I love how dynamic our language is. And I think those people fail to realize that there has never been a "pure" form of English and that our language has been morphing for hundreds and hundreds of years and will continue to do so!

Thanks again for a great post that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. aren't they lovely the narcissi - completely change Mum's room and the look of it - & the daffodils have opened & have orange trumpets .. so with the anemones - it's really cheery & needs to be as we're in for a week of bucketing weather!

Ah the '&' in ampersand .. - better than writing 'and per se' all the time! & the kids don't have to say it at the end of their ABCs ...

No I didn't know that about babies .. I think your fancy book-learnin teeched you right! Actually I'm going to write about that too soon - tied in with Gauguin.

I to saw Raquel Welch at 70 & she does look spectacular ... amazing lady.

Oh oh .. good the cartes postales de Grande Bretagne sont arrives!!

Enjoy the week .. xoxxo Hilary ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly .. that would make an interesting thing to collect .. fascinating from an historical point of view, as well as the design point of view of being able to create one.

There were modern fonts on the wallposter .. but I selected the older ones! ..

Thanks for the video link - quite amusing! Good to see you back .. have a good week designing .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deborah Ann .. thanks for coming over and glad to see you find the blog interesting .. have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chris .. You seem to have got my gist .. the 'where do they (words) magically appear from' ..

Your thoughts on letting go and relax into who we are ... our mind is there or not .. but our soul is always there .. our mind can help or hinder, our soul is always with us .. We, as humans, continue to search out to understand this amazing body that we have - with its outstanding brain. It's fascinating how we're developing.

Thanks Chris - you always offer an erudite thought .. tinged with humour quite often .. lovely seeing you .. thanks - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tristan .. thanks for coming over from your Blogging Bookshelf Blog - excellent to see you .. you do what you say .. you came over here.

Delighted that you've enjoyed the post - obviously hit a good spot with your interest in linguistics. The ampersand (&) info I found interesting too ..

I love what you say about our changing language .. you've put it succinctly .. it is constantly morphing and will continue to do so - it's so interesting seeing where words have come from & how they've changed their meaning over time.

Delighted that you enjoyed the post .. and it's good to see you here - have a good week .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

The Bible has a lot to say about the words we speak.

In my lifetime, I have spoken many words. Some have blessed the listener, and many have caused harm to someone present, or to some one who wasn’t there to defend themselves. Some have been released in the spirit of pride-making myself out to be something important…independent of my God. It’s as if I’m saying that I can say whatever I want without there being any consequences or a day of reckoning for my words.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Linda said...

Language, both spoken and written is fascinating. I love looking at different typefaces and experimenting with new looks. I enjoy the video as much visually as what he was saying.

Paul said...

Wow, Youtube - something like it ought to be on there at least. The actual recording I heard... I think it was an LP, might have been a tape... would have been 1972 I think.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ron .. you're right about the Bible .. and it's true we don't always think of the unintended consequences of our actions or words - something we need to remember and address in ourselves before hitting the 'go' button or opening our mouths!

Thanks - such a wise comment .. good to see you back after your brief recuperative break .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Linda .. excellent you looked at the video! It is a fun way to present words and language, then to remind us that it's always changing.

One day - I'm sure I will have time to try new design things - as it looks a fascinating area to go into ..

Lovely seeing you here .. have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paul .. I thought you might come back and give me a better clue - I'm not sure I found what you hard .. but could well be in YouTube format .. it's fun .. I've given some prompts to skip forward etc .. but it's an amazing piece .. and then two more clips at just over a minute each ..

Middle English: Languages of the World: Introductory Overviews .. Alexander Arguelles presents a series of videos to provide introductory overview: 9 mins 08 secs

He reads Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ... and reads a page in Middle English .. then he translates it and reads it .. move forward to 6.00 mins to get to the translation ...

He then gives a book recommendation 7mins 30 secs ... Dennis Freeborn’s From Old English to Standard English .. (Source book that gives both grammar and orthography, translations, transcriptions ... etc & word lists – as come into the language) .. and other book recommendations .. fascinating ... Speaking Anglo-Saxon – Seven Ages of Britain .. 1 min 12 sec BBC One tv show – spoken by David Dimbleby .. in a very cold snowy winter!

The Canterbury Tales Prologue in Middle English - 1 min 12 secs:

This may not be quite what you had .. but it's probably 'better' .. and it sounds slightly like 1972?, as it's visual as well as auditory ..

Let me know what you think .. cheers Hilary

Talli Roland said...

One of the most interesting books I've read was called 'The History of English' by McCrum et al. It talks about the origin of words and how English has evolved around the world.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. yes - I've seen that .. but haven't bought it - I did buy his book on his stroke, after I heard a BBC Radio 4 play written about his stroke and his new American wife, who was in California at the time .. it included her perspective ..

He's got better fortunately .. somewhat like Jill Bolte Taylor .. the brain anatomist .. who features on TED & has written a book about the process she went through & her 'recovery' .. = a new woman.

Thanks - I'll get McCrum's book sometime .. cheers Hilary

Sara said...


As usual you delighted me with information. I loved learning about how the phrase "X, Y, Z and per se and morphed into"ampersand." I said it about three time and it makes perfect sense.

I also enjoy the origin of words; it's amazing where some have come from:~)

How could your mother not appreciate you being there? You are truly a wonderful daughter:~)

Sara said...

Hilary --

I forgot to say how much I am enjoying your comments about the workshop. I've been very active, but will be soon:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. Delighted that you enjoy the information .. all the odds and ends of language - so important though .. and the origin of words - I constantly look .. then have to stop myself - perhaps addiction could be a possible name!!

Mum is sleeping so much more now - but knows I'm around & that's important ..

Thanks .. so much .. we're going to have fun in the next few weeks ..

Enjoy the week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. I have to keep comments paired up - disorientates me otherwise?!

Thank you .. good to part of the Workshop .. got some more comments to make too .. see you there! Then we'll have fun ..

Cheers and see you very soon .. Hilary

J.D. Meier said...

I like how typography can dramatically change the feel of a piece of work. For example, some fonts look like they are written by hand.

I'm a fan of finding words that add new concepts and distinctions. For example, I like how precision is not the same as accuracy and yet they can compliment each other.

I also like how some words are evocative. For example, soultry is one of those words.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Now if I could only spell those words...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today, Hilary! And I always look up a word if I'm not 100% of its definition.

Davina Haisell said...

Hi Hilary.
I love words and I LOVE typography! There is a certain art to placing the letters in position with each other -- using kerning, etc. Years ago, I used to like writing certain words in specific fonts, trying to capture the essence of the word with the typography.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD're certainly right there .. the font can make the piece appear dramatically different - and I love designed work ..

I agree .. I'm not too good at editing my work .. or looking for new words .. it will come I'm sure as I get more time.

Evocative words are brilliant aren't they .. and some people can paint their words - that actually 'show us' their meaning ... especially in the right context.

Great points - your writing skills really hone in to to your subject .. I get clarity from your posts.

Thanks so much .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. I'm laughing here .. you're writing skills are up there I suspect .. but spelling - the English way or the American way?! Thereby hangs a tale ..

Great to see you here .. thanks - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - the Sci-Fi man .. thanks for taking the time to come over .. I usually do too - but some creep in .. that I waiver about and they slip through.

Thanks - I wonder how we will be speaking in 100 years .. it's not far away!

Have a good week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Davina .. you certainly do love words .. and express yourself beautifully through them.

Kerning .. I can see is an art - that's why typesetters were so highly prized .. you need an eye too.

I expect you've got some lovely work hidden away which you've designed and put together? Fun to have time to do that ..

Thanks for coming by .. see you soon .. Hilary

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

As a lover of words, I really enjoyed your post. Along this line, there’s a book you may be interested in about how the letters for our alphabet came about, titled “Letter Perfect” by David Sacks.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jane .. how wonderful to meet you here .. and so pleased you enjoyed the post.

I'm sure I would be .. "Letter Perfect" sounds fascinating .. I'll have a look out for it & add it to my wish list!!

I'm coming over to say 'hi' now on your site .. you're my 80th follower - seems like a milestone to me!! Have a good rest of the week .. Hilary

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I know what you mean about once you delve into something it seems hard to find a stopping point once you start researching a topic. My WWII evacuee research pile continues to grow...

Have a lovely rest of the week, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. If I was writing a book as you are .. I'd have information all over the place - it's fascinating to see where we're led & how things we wouldn't think would be relevant are, in some way.

Your WW11 evacuee research must contain a huge mix of emotions .. as well as many puzzles with missing links - very informative I'm sure. I look forward to reading the resulting book.

Thanks for coming by - you too have a good rest of the week .. Hilary

BK said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog again Hilary. Words are so important in our lives and I am doing my best to choose positive words in my blog so that it can really create a difference in the life of others.

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Hilary,

I never know what I'll find here when I arrive, but I always know it's going to be a great story, filled with history.

I LOVE fonts. In fact, I can spend hours searching online, testing them out and then trying them in emails or in my blogs. And just when I think they certainly can't come up with new ones, there's more.

I agree. The ampersand is an interesting character. One thing I've noticed is if someone uses it in a blog title, the link to the title doesn't show the ampersand but instead spells it out. For me that was a good reminder to not use it in titles.

((Hugs)) to you and your mum. I'm not surprised she missed you - you're a great daughter. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BK .. it's a pleasure and Symphony of Love just does that .. provide positive words for us.

As you say - how we say them and what we say are so important.

Thanks for coming by - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Barbara .. great to see you - you'll always add heartily to the mix!

With your design skills - I can see that you'd be 'trawling' the net and then testing, testing and testing! We are this creative animal .. us humans! Forever thinking new things and change.

You're right about the & in the title .. I knew somewhere it didn't work - but couldn't quite remember where .. so thanks for highlighting that for us all.

Dear Mum - yes .. it's not an easy time for any of us .. being patient, calm and peaceful seem to be the order of the day. Many thanks for your thoughts - she will love to know ..

Have a good weekend .. and hugs across the pond & the Bend! Cheers - Hilary

Susan Blake said...

Hi Hilary! Oh this was just fabulous! I am SUCH a word person, word "collector" as well as inventor, much to the amusement of those who know me well and claim some of my creations are "suzyisms"! Also I took calligraphy way back when so making letters "beautiful" sure has an appeal esthetically. Doesn't this remind you of that saying "It's not WHAT you say but HOW you say it"?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi SuZen .. it was fun to post this... especially as all the creative people are coming along with their thoughts! Suzyisms - great word .. we should add it to the dictionary?!

But writing letters is exactly that - isn't it .. it's how we say it .. and how we write it - if we can do calligraphy and make those letters have extra aesthetic appeal - it just adds a little extra.

Thanks for the great comment .. and hugs back on this blustery wet day!! Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Hilary, you are always appreciated wherever you are, whatever you do. The evolution of language is indeed fascinating. One perspective is our use of words and choice of silence evolves with our perception of what is.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. thank you - how right you are .. silence does evoke 'a word' - that silence gives us a chance to think, to mull over .. think before we speak .. an evolution in body language as a speech part. So wise ..

Thank you - Hilary