Comma accent: acute or comma style?

(Well, the title says it all, but isn’t it fun typing mmaacc? Shoutout to Mark Simonson!)


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,869
    If it's 'acute' style, might it be ambiguous when rotated above g?
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 999
    What would acute style look like? Just a 180° rotation of acute? Or right-side-up?
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,689
    If it's 'acute' style, might it be ambiguous when rotated above g?
    What’s the ambiguity? People not recognizing it or mistaking it for ğǧĝġ?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,869
    edited April 13
    ǵ used in transcription of Old Slavonic and Pashto.

    There are two different aspects to confusability. One is a reader confusing one letter/diacritic for another, which typically is only an issue if the confusion is possible within a specific orthography. Since a lot of orthographies use a limited set of diacritics, a lot of leeway is possible in writing and lettering. For example, if you look at Turkish packaging and product design, you'll see C and S with all manner of marks below them, all of which are interpreted by readers as Ç and Ş.

    The second aspect of confusability is specific to digital text encoding and display, and has to do with phishing based security concerns, i.e. one character or sequence of characters being displayed in a way that could be interpreted by a user as a different character or sequence of characters. It's because of this kind of confusability that I'm pretty conservative in the shapes I give to diacritics.

    That said, I think the answer to Nick's question is really that it depends on the overall design of the typeface, and isn't something about which can make an general either/or decision.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,534
    If there is the possibility a typeface might be used for transcribing Old Slavonic and Pashto, then ambiguity would be an issue. Are such transcriptions supported in the standard Latin Extended encoding?

    And I agree, there is a lot of leeway, as per John’s Turkish packaging example.

    I was thinking more along the lines of what is “proper” amongst informed typographers, in the way that the preferred Slovak alternate caron, as in lcaron, dcaron and tcaron, is now, largely due to the influence of Peter Biľak, a kind of almost upright acute, not the comma/apostrophe/quoteright shape that was widely used before.


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,869
    In Europe, there's two distinct language communities that use under-comma diacritic letters—Latvian and Romanian—so there's the possibility that what might be accepted or preferred by one might not be accepted by the other.

    All of the Romanian examples I've looked at are modelled on the comma shape of the typeface, whatever that happens to be.

    AT ATypI Warsaw, Aleksandra Samulenkova gave a presentation on Latvian diacritics.
  • Alex VisiAlex Visi Posts: 58
    edited April 15
    Couple of thoughts:
    Some good foundries mix the acute shape for carons (Lldt) and the comma shape for “real” comma accents. 

    Also, in my opinion very curly commas look a bit wrong on Lldt, draw too much attention. That makes me think whether this caron variation is even supposed to be a comma. Maybe that acute shape is actually half a caron left? I’ve seen people put there actual carons in handwritings, and so the comma might have replaced that in metal type just because that’s what typographers had. Just a thought though.

    Here’s Domaine by Klim:

    Alpina by GrilliType:

    Preissig Antikva by Storm:

  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 606
    edited April 20
    Ǵ ǵ (g-acute) is part of Kazakh Latin alphabet that the country will have transitioned to by 2025.
    Similarly, it is part of a proposed reform of the Uzbekh Latin alphabet.
    Not to say that I would expect confusability with g-comma to be an issue.
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