Nolmendil's picture

Dear experts,

can please anyone tell whether the form of tironian "et" in the image below is the correct one that had been used to write "viz." before people started to substitute "z" for it? And if so, do you think using this archaic form would be a good idea (in a bit old-fashioned philosophical journal)? Or do you think it would just look weird?

Thanks in advance,


charles ellertson's picture

The particulars of how a Tyronian et looked depending on how a particular scribe -- and later, typefounder -- decided to render it. There is no one correct form. Long ago, I once spent an entire afternoon finding samples to show a client, who felt the one we used was somehow "wrong" (I used one with a descender).

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tironian_et

As for using it in a philosophical journal in the context you suggest, yes, it would look weird. Not to mention causing the typesetter trouble...

oldnick's picture

I'm not certain that the form would be correct. Viz. is the standard abbreviation for videlicitur, "see also"; the word "and" isn't a part of the abbreviated word.

Nolmendil's picture

Well, I am the typesetter :-) But thanks anyway!

Nolmendil's picture

It is the abbreviation of "videlicet", which means roughly "namely"; and the final glyph is tironian shorthand for the final "et", as an ending, not meaning "and" here. Some of these shorthnds were regularly used in print as long as 16th or even 17th century.

hrant's picture

Hopefully John Hudson (of Tiro Typeworks :-) will chime in soon...

There is no one correct form.

Coincidentally, just like for any other letter. :-)


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