The Yellow book, typographical detail?

AALjunggren's picture

Hi all!

I was skimming thru a scanned copy of "the yellow book" and found a small typographical detail. A functional "orphan" word, reoccurring on every page thru out the publication.

Does anyone know more about this little detail, would be interesting to find out more.



Skärmavbild 2014-01-09 kl. 14.32.07.png333.13 KB
AALjunggren's picture

Catchword apparently, but more then that ?

Joshua Langman's picture

It's called a catchword and it's the first word on the next page, often styled to match. It was supposed to make the act of turning the page less disruptive to the reading experience.

AALjunggren's picture


Yes, that I figured out. However what I find interesting is that it has, historically, two meanings. The first seems to be a aid for the typesetter, writer, to match pages in the bookmaking progress. However this is secondary with additional pagina. The other is for us readers (saying it would make it simpler to read) . The only criticism I have found is a graphic handbook authored by De Vinne, ca 1900, shortly stating "it wont be missed". (saying it was out of use)

Linda Downing states in a study; "Both antiquated and obtrusive, the catch-phrase interrupts the cognitive process of reading: “making-transparent ... the physical sign which constitutes the act of reading; and in doing this, catch-words participate in the ‘pictorialization’ of typography",

So is it a aid or not? :)

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