Stupid question?

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Kyle Johnston's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2002 - 11:00am
Stupid question?
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How is the “Akzidenz” of “Akzidenz Grotesk”
pronounced? I use it quite a bit and I feel a bit
silly when someone asks me what it is and
I’m not sure if I’m saying it correctly…

karl frankowski's picture
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Joined: 7 Jan 2003 - 4:28pm
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I’ve asked myself the same question many times. We should build a database like on www.m-w.com where you can hear the name of each typeface spoken aloud. I bet there would be a lot of debate over some of them though…

Is it like Accidents-t?

Mark Simonson's picture
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Joined: 3 Dec 2001 - 11:00am
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As I understand…

Gill is pronounced the same as the breathing organs on a fish, and Goudy rhymes with howdy and has a hard g.

(My little attempt at a joke up there went somehow awry. I forgot that the g would be pronounced with a hard sound when followed by an o in French, just as in English. I was thinking they were pronouncing it… Oh, nevermind.)

Yves Peters's picture
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Joined: 7 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
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Another one that’s always pronounced wrong is “Univers” which is a French word (no end-“e”): <ü-nee-v-airr>. I doubt native English speaking people can pronounce the opening vowel properly, as the German “ü”/Dutch “uu” is a sound they can’t reproduce (in fact, it’s not even possible to write down a phonetic equivalent in English). It’ll sound like “oo”.

The same problem arises with “Eurostile” which is pronounced: <eu-ro-steel>. Here again, the opening vowel is totally alien to the English language and will most likely get bastardized to “you” by native English speakers.

Regarding “Akzidenz”, I think Gregory was right, Paul. There are different ways of pronouncing the “z” in German in relation to specific letter combinations, and I doubt the combination “kz” sounds like <kts>. Are there any native German speakers on the board to enlighten us?

Michael Schlierbach's picture
Joined: 8 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
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Hello,

I’m a native German speaker. Paul Davidson is right.
And from the syllables and meaning of the word it’s separated Ak-zidenz (pronounced ak-tsiden(t)s). Or as in the form of writing Gregory used: Ak-tsee-den(t)s. The later normally isn’t spoken as hard as the Z at the beginning, more like an s.

The idea with a spoken database is good. Should contain names too.

Yves Peters's picture
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Joined: 7 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
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I stand corrected. Thank you for your insightful explanation, Michael, and welcome to the board.

Matha Stand�n's picture
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003 - 5:13am
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Gill and Goudy how?

In France Gill = Gilles and Goudy = goo-dee


M

Karen Huang's picture
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Joined: 1 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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I suspect that even the most hardcore typophiles would have no idea how fontnames are pronounced. They (We) probably read a lot, surf a lot and lurk around forums. But we don’t really sit in cafes or hold dinner parties to discuss fonts. Or have I just not been invited?

Matha Stand�n's picture
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003 - 5:13am
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But we don’t really sit in cafes or hold dinner parties to discuss fonts. Or have I just not been invited?

In France, this sort of thing seems to be all the rage.

Matha.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Karen, not just that, but sometimes it’s pretty hopeless, even in person. For example, “officina” is an Italian word (it can’t be Spanish, because of the double-“f”), so the “c” is pronounced as a “tch”, but most people (including some old-timers) say “ofisina”. Maybe even including Spiekermann? But maybe the creator can determine the pronunciation?

BTW, you’ll probably have to invite yourself (ATypI-Vancouver and/or TypeCon2003), but once you do it’s a total blast.

hhp

Tracy Levitz's picture
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Joined: 22 Nov 2002 - 8:40am
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While you’re at it… how about Didot?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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deeDOH
(Short “ee”; no actual “h”.)

hhp

Gregory Cadars's picture
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Joined: 8 Jan 2003 - 3:39am
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Huh, in english….
> Akseedents?

Ben Gough-Cooper's picture
Joined: 5 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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Well, thats cleared up an office argument about Gill Sans but what about Arial?

Oh and hello.

Mark Simonson's picture
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Joined: 3 Dec 2001 - 11:00am
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I say either “air-ee-ALL” or “ah-ree-ALL” and then brush my teeth.

Jared Benson's picture
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Joined: 25 Apr 2005 - 6:41pm
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Oh, and what about that other type site, Tie-Poo-Gray-Fie-Kuh?

Typophile is actually pronounced “Tie-Pop-Hee-Lay” — Must be a California thing.

:wink:
jb

Colin Hartnett's picture
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Joined: 28 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
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The first vowel sound in

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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No, Euler is pronounced like English “oiler” (I was a Math minor — although not in Texas).

I guess Eurostile can be pronounced a bunch of different ways, depending on if you want it to sound Italian (its origin), French (which it seems to “default to” for me, for some reason), and English. I pronounce it in English: “Yurostyl”.

hhp

Colin Hartnett's picture
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Joined: 28 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
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Another one: How is

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Pay-nyo (the French ‘gn’ combination is like the Italian in ‘lasagna’).

Paul Davidson's picture
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Joined: 25 Nov 2002 - 6:44pm
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Pen-YO!

Paul

Tracy Levitz's picture
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Joined: 22 Nov 2002 - 8:40am
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oh, and Berthold? H or no h?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Paul’s got that one (the “ei” is one sound).

What about “Enschede”?

hhp

brian jaramillo's picture
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Joined: 3 Nov 2001 - 11:00am
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While on subject, I saw somewhere in Type & Typography (Phil Baines, Andrew Haslam) that Benguiat is indeed pronounced BEN-GAT.

www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/675.html

And I’ve heard Frutiger pronounced two ways. Anybody know that one.

Also, lineto.


bj

Anonymous's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
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On-skah-day

Andy Clymer's picture
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Joined: 9 Jun 2002 - 11:00am
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Michael Schlierbach said, And from the syllables and meaning of the word it’s separated Ak-zidenz

So what’s the meaning?

Michael Schlierbach's picture
Joined: 8 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
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(please excuse my humble english — ask if something is not clearly understandable — correct me, for I can improve)

“Akzidenz” has a latin origin. It comes from “accido”.
“Accido” itself is a combination of “ad” (in combination with c… changed to ac …)(it means “to”) and “cado” which means “falling” (also in the sense of falling to something = joining) — so it means “(the characteristic) falling to something”.
“c” in latin is pronounciated differently: before i and e its like “ts” — before other vowels and after vowels its like “k”.

“accidentia” or “accidens” means the non-essential, the changing, the things by coincidence or chance. It means features or characteristics that are secondary to something, not their essential being.
In philosophy we distinguish between “substantia” and “accidentia”. accidentia are characteristics that belong to something, its taste, colour, and so on, but that can change without changing its being, its substantia.

In typography (in German language tradition) “Akzidentia” are all printing jobs by chance, prospects, folders, flyers, letterheads, business cards, ads. They require individual design and often other type than standard “Werksatz” (sorry, my english hasn’t developed to typographycal terms yet, maybe it could be described as “standard working typography”) for books, magazines, and newspapers.
Their design has to attract more attention. They are changing more often than the longlasting principles of good and readable book/newspaper design. On the other hand their characteristics in design changes, but their substance is the same, for example ads.
I find the name “Akzidenz” a very interesting parallel between philosophy and typography.

The use was naming the font:
As far as I know, Sanserifs were first used for ads and posters — typical “Akzidenzien”, so this font was named after its use.

Matha Stand�n's picture
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003 - 5:13am
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Thanks Michael. You have nothing to worrry about as far as the English is concerned.

M

Paul Davidson's picture
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Joined: 25 Nov 2002 - 6:44pm
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“Z” is pronounced like “ts” in German. So Akzidentz would be pronounced “Aktsidents”.

Good question about Frutiger. My English tongue is always tempted to say “FROO t’ grr”, but in French, of course, the g is soft. I don’t know if the r is pronounced or if it ends with an “ay” sound.

Paul

Matha Stand�n's picture
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003 - 5:13am
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My English tongue is always tempted to say “FROO t’ grr”, but in French, of course, the g is soft. I don’t know if the r is pronounced or if it ends with an “ay” sound.

I think your English tongue isn’t too far wrong, Paul. In France people generally pronounce it the German way (he’s from the German-speaking part of Switzerland) with a hard “g” and with a French accent it sounds something like Froo-tee-gerrrrrr.

‘Gill’ and ‘Goudy’ get fairly massacred though.

Matha.

Mark Simonson's picture
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Joined: 3 Dec 2001 - 11:00am
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cary “Goudy, Goudy, Goudy!”

Eric Olson's picture
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Joined: 15 Feb 2002 - 12:06pm
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bj, Lineto is pronounced “line to”. It’s a command/tag/code etc. in the postscript language.

brian jaramillo's picture
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Joined: 3 Nov 2001 - 11:00am
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Thanks Eric. I’ll throw out the suave and sophisticated (linn — ett — oh) pronunciation I picked up from a typophile named Ole. :-)

Tracy Levitz's picture
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Joined: 22 Nov 2002 - 8:40am
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Gill and Goudy how?

I’m feeling a chill as though I might be one of those people…

adam connolly's picture
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006 - 8:10pm
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Sorry to bring up the past, I have nothing to contribute here but was looking at latter year threads and found this fairly amusing and enlightening. I brought it to the fore for those like myself who stand to gain a lot from reading it.