The ‘New Hellenic’ Greek zeta and xi

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Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> immigrants are encouraged to keep their culture and language alive.

Yes, I can see Nick for one is big fan of that approach...
And of course you are too, with your "who needs it" dance.

I live in LA (and wouldn't live elsewhere in the US). If you don't know what LA is really like, that explains your complete misunderstanding of a much more vital situation: over here, immigrants are encouraged to assimilate, but they're mostly fighting it like mad, and to some extent succeeding. THAT is interesting and useful. THAT is REAL. Unlike in your nondescript wastelands, most people LIKE their cultures, have to fight to keep them going, and don't mind doing so. Face it.

> 10 million dead beats 1 million.

More like 6 to 1.5, but it's not just the numbers, and in fact the Armenian Genocide was/is actually worse than the Holocaust, because: we lost our LAND - not REGAINED it; its apparent success was used to help launch the Holocaust*; and most of all there has been no recognition, much less reparation. We certainly weren't awarded a country as compensation! And we don't get to harangue museums for loot or persecute 90-year-olds in Brazil. Basically, you're back on your feet now, in a big way (and in fact increasingly behaving like the people who slaughtered you**), while we're under blockade from Turkey (a Western ally), we have to fight various rich lobbies in the US to maintain our paltry foreign aid, and we're still being murdered***. Only one case of Genocide is worse than ours: the Native American one. And it's quite telling to see what countries were founded on their de facto extermination...

* They don't tell you THAT one, do they! :-/

** Like father like son I guess.

*** http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4907552.stm

You know the history that suits you.

> My grandparents left Italy because they were so poor
> they lived in a hut and came here to make something
> of themselves; not their “culture”.

Indeed, culture cannot thrive in abject poverty; although a little bit of poverty can sometimes do wonders for fields that can't make much money anyway - for example note the boom in quality typeface design in Argentina right after their economic meltdown. And actually, culture cannot thrive in Capitalism. Only its hollow dopleganger can.

> what have they done for you?

Not nearly as much as the Swastika has been doing for you...
You don't know how lucky you are - you're so... aberakhd.

> You don’t exist to be subservient to your
> “nation”, it exists to protect and serve you.

This disease of Individualism is exactly what's most wrong with
the West, and exactly why China is going to bury you soon enough.

> our lack of any specific culture is in fact quintessentially “Canadian”

What are you talking about? You're practically a US state.
You're more like the US than LA, SF, NYC and Nawlins!

> And if that isn’t culture, then I don’t know what is.

So eating, drinking and fornication is the totality of culture for you?
What are you doing on Typophile?

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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[Ignoring latest chest-beating...]

Hey, that's neat!
I'm not familiar with the face up close: this is how I assumed it was constructed:

I certainly underestimated it.

What reasons ... do you have to think the opposite?

I'm basing my observation on the presentation "Keeping Greek Typography Alive", which he gave in Thessaloniki in 2002. He says:

"It is generally admitted that the typographically finest Greek books have been
typeset on Monotype machines ; furthermore there are still monotypists in Greece
perpetuating that tradition. This is the reason why, to keep high quality Greek
typography alive, the author has started a research and development project called
«digital monotype» (in Greek: ψηφιακ µονοτυπ α). In this context, the word
«monotype» is lowercased, since we are refering to the technique of using Monotype
machines, rather than on the machines themselves ; in French, the author
translates this term «monotypie numérique».
Digital monotype is the method of computer emulation of the printed output of
Monotype machines"

The typefaces he shows are traditional faces such Didot (Apla), Porson, Elsevier, New Hellenic.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I think there's a difference between admitting that "tradition"
has been the only thing to produce acceptable results so far,
versus believing that only it can ever do that. Even analysing
something "traditional" to a great depth does not indicate full
belief in it. Hey, I tend to analyse chirographic fonts! :-)

hhp

Petri Latvala's picture
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Joined: 14 Apr 2006 - 7:27am
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Here is my fresh revival of Scholderer’s zeeta.
I wonder if this aspiring glyph seems usable to
You?

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Strictly on the basis of text colour, the normal zeta can be problematic -- but it's a problem that kerning can fix, which was not an option for Scholderer. I'm guessing the zeta colour problem was one of the reasons he tried an alternative. This version may be a little tentative in proportion, too grey and even, lacking in personality (too much like a 3). Compare with the dynamic form of the gamma. This is a criticism of Scholderer's design, BTW, not your excellent rendering of it.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Petri, since it's a zeta and not a xi :-) it seems fine to me.
But it would be best to ask an expert.

The color problem of the conventional zeta that Nick points out
is certainly real, and I don't think can be properly solved with
kerning*. Look at the Apollonia font for what I think is a great
balanced solution to this conundrum. In fact except for its sadly
crippled eta (pointed out to me by John) it's my most favorite
Greek font.

* BTW, there was certainly some kerning possible in metal, and
probably enough to handle the conventional zeta (at least as far
as it could be) especially since Greek is usually looser than Latin.

hhp

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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"especially since Greek is usually looser than Latin"

Even more so if it is letterspaced for emphasis :-)

ChrisL

BTW: Hrant, would you please send me the spreadsheet with the frequency of occurance data for Greek glyphs?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Dude, it would take less time to just retype it! :-)

hhp

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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You mean that is it?

I thought there was more to it.

ChrisL

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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No, that's all I got from them that time, but I'm sure
they can be pestered to churn out more, like digraph
frequencies (great for kerning).

hhp

Giordano Black's picture
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Joined: 16 Dec 2005 - 2:05pm
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You are Americans ignorance, isolationism, and ethno-centrism (even if the ethnicity in question is Armenian) made manifest. Just look how you are convinced that Los Angeles, of all the plastic, fake, concrete-box-devoid-of-greenspace cities on this Earth, is somehow a metaphor for all the world to follow:

I live in LA (and wouldn’t live elsewhere in the US). If you don’t know what LA is really like, that explains your complete misunderstanding of a much more vital situation: over here, immigrants are encouraged to assimilate, but they’re mostly fighting it like mad, and to some extent succeeding. THAT is interesting and useful. THAT is REAL. Unlike in your nondescript wastelands, most people LIKE their cultures, have to fight to keep them going, and don’t mind doing so. Face it.

I know immigrants are encouraged to assimilate. That’s why first generation Italians in New York can’t speak a word of Italian. Meanwhile, of the people I know (children of first- generation immigrants, people who were born here), at least 70% of their kids speak Italian. You have a few Latinos waving Mexican flags while begging for US citizenship (because your isolationist government [and that doesn’t only mean Bush, but US policy in general] makes it nearly impossible to become a US citizen). You’re right about one thing: in Canada people don’t have to fight to protect their culture, because there is no latte-drinking, unilingual, pale, white-bread, twelfth-generation “majority” to be assimilated into, at least not in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver (there isn’t much besides oil, diamonds, gold, and the world’s largest reserves of fresh water anywhere in between – we await the US invasion as soon as you get out of Iraq [which means we feel pretty safe]), where these people exist but are a (still sizeable) minority.

Nondescript wastelands? I’m not from Alberta. I’m not from rural Quebec. I’m from Montreal. It’s a real city:

cit•y (s¹t“¶) n., pl. cit•ies. Abbr. C. 1. A center of population, commerce, and culture
-The American Heritage Dictionary

LA is a concrete box full of Americans. Centre of culture? L0LZ. Look, if you don’t know what Montreal is really like, that explains your complete misunderstanding of a much more vital situation. A short course in cultural diversity and laisser faire:

Montreal was founded by the French, who stole it from the Iroquois. Then, England won New France in the War of Spanish Succession. The French Canadians really didn’t care who their King was, they still had to pay taxes and one Mère-patrie is as bad as another. Moving on, the French speakers continued to be discriminated against by laws that made English the only official language, made knowledge of English necessary for any government position, made English required learning, etc. Later, the English found that Quebec francophones were, even after a century or so, fighting tooth and nail against assimilation.

Fast forward to the 70s. Francophones wanted to be treated fairly, etc. They left the oppression of the Church. They went through the “Quiet Revolution”. Good, I applaud them. Make the country bilingual. Excellent. More French speakers in administrative positions. Absolutely, they are the majority in this province. Then the topic of “preserving francophone culture” emerges. Laws are enacted to do so. These laws make French the only official language. They make knowledge of French required for government positions. They make French the only language in which businesses of over 60 employees may be administered. They make French the only language for any public signage, including store signs. They make French the only language for education in the province except for the “anglophone minority”. That’s right – immigrants to Canada, in North America, must go to school in French and only French. Even if they are American or British. English isn’t allowed until after third grade, and for less than a limited number of hours per week.

Do you know what it is to be an anglophone in Quebec? It is to be simultaneously part of the majority and minority (the same holds true for francophones, of course), and to be both the opressor and the oppressed. There are cities that are majority English-speaking (Montreal itself is 25% English, 25% “other”, and only 50% French), but where every sign is in French, as per the law (which is enforced by the Language Police).

Don’t even get me started on immigrants. Every immigrant (and I mean at least to the third generation) in this city is trilingual. Are you? There are Chinese who send their kids to private English school as a loophole to the laws, the Arabs and Haitians who were given preference because their countries were once French possessions. There are the Italians, Greeks, and Portuguese who arrived before the institution of these laws who are now “assimilated” into the anglophone group (meaning only that they speak English, not that they stopped making wine in their basements). My grandparents never even bothered learning English or French, yet they somehow communicate in both.

And you know what? No one really cares. How many times have I heard people tell me, “as long as I can live my life...”. The culture of Anglophones in Quebec is being destroyed by Bill 101. In the five years after the language laws were instated, over 100.000 anglophones left the province. They took the 401 to Toronto. It’s called “the Exodus”. Low birthrates combined with no immigrant population renewal means certain death for English Quebec. So now you are gonna talk to me about “assimilation”? Get over yourself.

Now, do you really think I care about America? You think because we both speak English that we are the same. You are wrong. When have you ever been to Canada? I know that whenever I go to the US (not to take notes on how to be American, but to visit a friend who left during the 80s), I am always astonished by how divergent our two countries are. And I’m talking about Maine, not Texas. I though that blue-state Democrats would be more like us Canadians. But they aren’t. When Talking to Americans (also the name of a very funny Canadian comedy show), it’s like they live on another planet, disconnected from the Earth. Canadians, however, live on Earth. Unless Bush has some plan to hardwire our brains to be permanently tuned to CNN, I don’t know how we will ever become dim enough to be the 51st state. And, if you did take us over, I guarantee all future presidents would be Canadian-American. It’s called an education system. Get one.

More like 6 to 1.5, but it’s not just the numbers, and in fact the Armenian Genocide was/is actually worse than the Holocaust, because: we lost our LAND - not REGAINED it; its apparent success was used to help launch the Holocaust*; and most of all there has been no recognition, much less reparation.

I’m not only talking about Jews. It’s 10 million overall. Anyway, we’re not talking about genocide.

We certainly weren’t awarded a country as compensation! And we don’t get to harangue museums for loot or persecute 90-year-olds in Brazil.

Sorry Armenians couldn’t have been murdered by a rich Western European power instead of a third-world theocracy. As for “the country” in question, the original idea of Zionism was for a utopian Socialist paradise (before Socialism was proven a failure) where Muslims, Jews, and Christians could live together and get along. After the Holocaust, a minority of crazy religious loonies ran with it, and they got their Israel. While I don’t agree with a country existing only for one group (which fringes on Fascism, to be sure), I applaud the crazies for getting what they wanted. If Armenians didn’t, then too bad for Armenians. You need better PR people. Furthermore, while I might not agree with the circumstances surrounding its creation, Israel is a free, modern nation and has the right to exercise its Sovereignty in any way it sees fit. It certainly shouldn’t be criticized by the one country that insists on policing the world and imposing its culture on everyone else (as you are doing with your arguments).

Basically, you’re back on your feet now, in a big way (and in fact increasingly behaving like the people who slaughtered you**), while we’re under blockade from Turkey (a Western ally), we have to fight various rich lobbies in the US to maintain our paltry foreign aid, and we’re still being murdered***.

“You”? I’m not Jewish. I don’t live in Israel, I don’t kill Palestinians, and I think they'll have to sort that out for themselves.

Only one case of Genocide is worse than ours: the Native American one. And it’s quite telling to see what countries were founded on their de facto extermination…

Yes. America, Canada, Brazil, Argentina... What’s your point? Only one American country had Bush as an elected leader. I love how Americans always say they “Won the West”. Of course you won it: you were fighting people who had no guns.

** Like father like son I guess.

What does that even mean?

And actually, culture cannot thrive in Capitalism. Only its hollow dopleganger can.

Do you charge for your fonts or do you offer them up for free as your contribution to our “culture”?

Not nearly as much as the Swastika has been doing for you…
You don’t know how lucky you are - you’re so… aberakhd.

Do you think because you use Armenian words you command some kind of special respect? I speak five languages, I think the least you could do is stick to one.

And, as I’m not Jewish and don’t live in Israel, like I said before, I didn’t benefit in any way from the holocaust. I don’t know exactly what you’re trying to say, but it’s not my job to stand up for Jews and it’s not you’re place to judge them as ungrateful. Since your first sentence uses the plural “you”, I’ll assume the others are plural. You should refrain from making generalizations (especially negative ones) about any ethnicity, whether they have been the object of genocide or not.

This disease of Individualism is exactly what’s most wrong with
the West, and exactly why China is going to bury you soon enough.

Are you insane?! China is the single most unbelievably individualistic, capitalist paradise ever to have existed on the planet Earth. That’s why they’ll be burying us (that includes America) soon. The European Union is on its way to challenging American supremacy as well, which you neglected to mention.

What are you talking about? You’re practically a US state.
You’re more like the US than LA, SF, NYC and Nawlins!

Well, I ask again if you’ve ever been to Canada, and where. Of course, there are similarities between Canada (at least the ROC- Rest of Canada, excluding Quebec) and the US, in that they were both founded by lame white farmer rednecks. The difference is that we’ve progressed and the US hasn’t. It does pain me a little to visit Ontario, and certainly to think of the Prairies, but nothing compared to crossing that border.

So eating, drinking and fornication is the totality of culture for you?
What are you doing on Typophile?

If that’s my culture, that’s my culture. What can I say? It’s a small town. To you, only your idea of “culture” is correct. No one else’s reality has room to exist. That is what it is to be an American.

And my point with that is this: My town, Larino, was a major centre of the Frentani, an Italic tribe connected to the Samnites. It then came under the influence of the Oscan civilization. It was then taken by Rome, after which it was the site of a battle with Hannibal. Then… you know the whole story of Rome and its glory and fall. Later, in the 1500’s, a large group of Albanians immigrated there. They were mercenaries under Skanderbeg and fought off Ottoman armies in Greece, stopping their planned invasion of Europe. Later still, Croats arrived from Dubrovnik (then the Republic of Ragusa), and established themselves in the region. After all this and two world wars and Fascism and famine and poverty, all they can say about the city is that it’s a real party town.

So could you just live your life and leave us alone ?

Caulisse.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> trilingual. Are you?

No - I haven't been since about age 7. I'm currently at 5. And I'm guessing my five has a wider spectrum than yours. Plus I doubt you've travelled more than me (yes, Canada included). Anyway, none of that necessarily makes me a better person. But the point is: you really have no idea who I am. But in LA, I belong... sort of.

hhp

Giordano Black's picture
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Joined: 16 Dec 2005 - 2:05pm
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No, Hrant. The point is that culture cannot be created or "protected". It is a spontaneous reaction to life. It can only expand through new ideas, whether they are home-grown or imported. When you stop renewal in order to "protect" culture, you only destroy it by removing its relevance and making it into mindless tradition.

Petri Latvala's picture
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Joined: 14 Apr 2006 - 7:27am
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The GFS Neohellenic has been recently updated. It now includes hanging lowercase zeta as stylistic alternate (as well as alternate characters for lowercase delta, uppercase epsilon, xi and omega)...
http://www.greekfontsociety.org/pages/en_typefaces.html