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...now I have to track down a copy of the book if only to find out what "Bottle-arsed type" is. :-)
This is a better link if you see yellow boxes obscuring the text: A Dictionary of the Art of Printing, found on Google Books and available as a PDF download.
American hot-metal compositors, of course, referred to this awful stuff as "bottle-ASSED type."
Even the best Monotype caster operators could not always avoid casting some bottle-assed/arsed type. I worked with some of the best, and I had to send ribbons back to the casting room to have type re-cast more often than I would have liked.
I never operated a Monotype caster, so I cannot give a good explanation about why type may come out of the mold wider at the bottom than at the top. But it does at times, and then it is a terrible nuisance for the compositor at the bank who has to make pages of this type. & if any bottle-assed type got sent to the pressroom it was equally nasty for stonehand and pressman.
If you have ever set even a few lines of metal type by hand, you can appreciate how important it is that all sorts be of the same dimensions top and bottom. Justifying the type, filling the line, or locking it up will be quite difficult.
Search for "bottle assed" instead of "bottle-arsed" and you will get a few more bits of info.
i hope I never see a line of this stuff again.
Not to be confused with Bottleneck then…