one-story, double-story, three-story g?

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TG's picture
TG
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Joined: 8 May 2003 - 2:39pm
one-story, double-story, three-story g?
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What’s the common practice and the logic for naming the different possible shapes of a and g in the English language?
From what I could gather, the common practices seems to be to have two groups: the single-story shapes and the double-story shapes. But until now, I fail to see the formal logic behind that.
If I take the double-story a and turn it upside down, I then get, what is referred to as single-story shape of the g – even though this is exactly the same shape. So what actually are then the “stories” of that character?

Therefore my personal logic would be to name the different possibilities:
single-story a
double-story a
double-story g (because it is basically an upside down double-story a)
and three(!)-story g

But maybe I am missing something …

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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I've always liked “binocular” for two-storied g’s, although “pince-nez” would be a closer simile.

But logic? Forget about it, this is type!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Indeed, let's not get hung up on topoterminology.

I used to call the binocular "g" bicameral, but then
Kent convinced me that terms is better reserved
for writing systems (as in UC and lc). But I'll never
call it "two-storied"!

hhp

James Todd's picture
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Joined: 16 Apr 2011 - 8:58pm
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I call it a "split-level" g

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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What about onefold, twofold, threefold?

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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Don’t forget about the four-storey gee!
http://flickr.com/photos/hardwig/2524903281/

TG's picture
TG
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Joined: 8 May 2003 - 2:39pm
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If we had a clear definition what the story of a letter is, then calling a shape a four-story g would be no problem.

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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Nick: Binocular / monocular makes sense for the g, but not so much for the a.

Briän M Zick's picture
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Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
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Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Ack! That's gotta be end of story!

Héctor Muñoz Huerta's picture
Joined: 21 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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Call it the sexy curvy letter!

Briän M Zick's picture
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Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
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It could be a g.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2011 - 11:30am
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A better question is where did the single story g come from?

Kevin Pease's picture
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Joined: 19 Oct 2003 - 5:03pm
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Ralf's original question can be explained away by extending the metaphor. Think of the baseline as ground level. A two-story building has two floors above ground level; you don't count the basement if it has one.

I think I've identified the best clear way to describe the two main types of g without running into exceptions. The verticals of letters such as b, d, p, q are stems. Any g whose tail drops down from the right side is a stemmed g, and others such as the typical binocular g are unstemmed.

John D Petty's picture
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Joined: 4 Mar 2012 - 9:17am
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I like "the sexy, curvy letter". If you've practised calligraphy you'll know that that g feels so good when you get it right; and usually, if you don't get it right, you know it's not right soon after you've started the lower curve.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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And when you get a typographic "g" right it feels so good forever! :-)

hhp