What's up with these 'q's?

eliason's picture


(Type is Jenson's)
I'm guessing the 3-like mark is short for "ue"? and the crossbar?

Theunis de Jong's picture

"quibuscumque"?

Do you have a date for this?

I heard it was not unusual for typesetters to cramp up a few letters when really pressed for space. In this case, I would guess the q bar is shorthand for 'qui' (with some imagination), and your guess of the '3' like glyph for 'que' could be right. My guess of the tilde as a suppressed 'm' comes from this phrase

Unde facta fide de iure in hac p[ar]te requisita petit pars ista Jus et ius[ti]ciam in omnibus p[re]miss[is] et singulis et ea conc[er]nentibus quibuscu[m]q[ue]

found with "Google quibuscu"

The extra large 'H' below would indicate this particular person cared about proper justification :-)

nina's picture

Yes, the "q3" is shorthand for "que". I researched this briefly when I spotted a pretty "connected" one in an italic, in a book printed in 1543:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ninastoessinger/3430816928/
(This also shows the tilde as suppressed "m", as Theunis mentions.)

I thought the "q" with crossbar was "quo", going to go look for that now…

eliason's picture

Do you have a date for this?

1470

kentlew's picture

Incidentally, Matthew Carter created a set of these kinds of obsolete Latin ligatures and abbreviations, called Manutius Latin, as a supplement to Miller for a special project for the UCLA. (Yes, a Scotch Roman style -- somewhat amusing.)

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