What's the difference between a "leg" and a "tail"?

stressin's picture

I assume "leg" is only for the letter K?
and the tail being for something curved?

Please help me clearify these two terms

John Nolan's picture

I would think of a leg as a feature that "stands" on the baseline. K and R would have legs. JMO.

matteson's picture

I hate these two terms. The distinction I use (which is not necessarily standard) is that if the stroke 'stands' on the baseline (as John said) it's a leg. If it hangs below, it's a tail. Usually this means, in a serif face, that legs have serifs and tails don't.

So a Warnock 'k' kas a tail not a leg (it dips slightly below and doesn't 'stand'). So does a Clarendon 'R' (which curls upwards at the baseline). 'X' and 'x' have legs.

Most of the time I find that if I use the terminology 'thingamajig' and 'do-lolly' in conjunction with pointing, folks understand me just fine.

matteson's picture

Warnock 'K' & 'k':

Regent, Tyfa, & Jannon 'R's (With legs? Or does Jannon have a tail? I don't know. Frankly, I guess I don't care either way.;-):

Filosofia & Trajan 'R's (with tails because I think they look like tails, and I can't imagine a better criterion for being a tail):

dan_reynolds's picture

I think that K's and R's have legs, while Q's have tails

dezcom's picture

You guys are playing footsie, right?


dezcom's picture

Sorry, I was just pulling your leg ;->

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