[sword-devel] Luther1545

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Wed Jun 18 18:52:50 MST 2008

DM Smith wrote:
> I have curiosity questions. Is it that it is actually the letter 'V'  
> or is it the letter 'U', but the glyph is looks like the letter 'V'?

This is a good question - and I would think there are several aspects

I think the glyphs are used interchangably - a V shape is often used for
an u in the begin of a word, but equally where a v is correct - while a
U shape might stand where v or u would be. I und J are certainly one
letter/interchangably used - indeed the greek name for the I - iota is
used in German for the name of the J - Jot.

Another problem is that a lot of the stuff on the net is often made to
look "antique" by throwing in arbitrary font oddities - I just now
realised that i actually never had seen or held in my hand a reliable
copy of what Luther's Bible looked like - there are a few pictures about
- but that is it.

And then there is positional glyph shaping - just as we had discussed
with Farsi/Arabic:

I found this image file which is quite interesting:


Look at the behaviour of the S - begin and inside words it looks like a
f, but at the end it looks like an s.

Similar the U changes shape whether it is inside or at the begin of a word.

Not looked long enough and at enough original text to say whether there
are more letters getting shaped, but I would not be surprised.

Taking the glyph shaping into account I would think the version we have
is wrong as it tries to imitate this by using v and u - I have not seen
enough, but I think overall a straight use of U only for both letters
would be more correct - but equally difficult to read for some.


> For example, the French cursive 1 looks like our number 7. But is the  
> number 1 and not the number 7.
> The reason that I ask this is that over time the glyphs for letters  
> change. (I was recently looking at the history of the Arabic numbers,  
> this morning a the changing orthography of Greek writing).
> Or could it be that there is an altogether different code point for  
> the 'V' than either today's letter 'V' or today's letter 'U'?
> For example, in the original KJV, the letter 's' often was a long  
> swoopy 'f' looking character. I would imagine that if we were to ever  
> encode the original KJV, that we would not use the letter 'f' but a  
> code point for the character that looks like it.
> (Some day, I'd like to have the original KJV as a SWORD module.)
> Or is it really a question of font? If it is merely the look or shape  
> of the letter, then that seems like a font issue to me.
> In Him,
> 	DM
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