Esperanto readers and the Jcircumflex

Ray Larabie's picture

Are Esperanto readers fussy about the placement of the circumflex on the Ĵcircumflex (0134)?

I think I'm supposed to center of the width of the letter like so. . .

. . .as opposed to centering on the stem like an Icircumflex.

I prefer to place it wherever the hell I damn well please.

Do I risk infuriating billions and billions of Esperanto readers with my brazen circumflex placement?

AdamC's picture

I know some Esperanto and while this does not bother me, I think it would be wiser to put the Ĵcircumflex more to the left. Keeping it on center could confuse people after all. It would be kind of like taking the tilde in Spanish and making it off-center. People will know which letter it is but it would look strange.

Ray Larabie's picture


Mark Simonson's picture

That may be, but it seems odd to me. What about a face where the J drops below the baseline and hooks to the left under the adjacent letter? If you center it over the entire J, then it will be centered over the space between the letters. Would you also prefer to see the dot on the lowercase j more to the left, centered on the width of the letter? It seems to me to be more consistent to treat the circumflex (or any other accent) as you would the dot, centering it over the stem. I also checked and the vast majority of fonts installed on my computer have it centered over the stem, only a handful don't.

Ray Larabie's picture

I stopped centering on the Ĵ stem because an Esperanto enthusiast told me it was supposed to be centered over the letter, not the stem. Where's an Esperanto enthusiast when you need one?

quadibloc's picture

I am not an Esperanto enthusiast, but I would tend to think that the intent was to harmonize with existing European typographic practice, rather than for Esperanto to be radically different.

Centering over the stem would, as noted in this thread, be mandatory for typefaces like Caslon or Baskerville, where the bowl of the capital J is a kern. I strongly suspect that it is the usual practice in other typefaces as well.

Although, what would I know? I thought that Esperanto used the caron, not the circumflex. But, checking, it is the circumflex that it uses. Ah: and Czech uses a caron on the J; - no, it doesn't, I had interpreted the Wikipedia article wrongly... it is used in some phonetic transcription schemes and in the Wahki language - it centers the caron over the stem on the lowercase J, as Esperanto does with the circumflex, but some fonts, at least, put the caron inside the capital letter J for Czech.

At least there's a basis for comparison, if Esperanto texts aren't easy to find.

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