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Ralf Herrmann

Traditional typography glossaries in English?

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Ralf Herrmann

When typography terms are debated again, I like to check very old sources and I know good ones in German, but are there such books which can be considered a “standard” in English? I mean book which are like 100, 200 or more years old and describe printing/typography terms and are hopefully also available as scans. 

(Literally) a case in point: I saw some slightly varying explanations about the origins of the words uppercase and lowercase this week and that’s a typical case where I would like to check old sources to learn more about the traditional understanding and origin of such terms. 

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Kevin Thompson

Still searching for a source for you, but I always understood the terms as deriving from the drawer positions on a traditional typecase cabinet—uppercase on the upper tier, lowercase on the bottom.

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