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Re: [Groff] Proper Small Caps.

From: Steve Izma
Subject: Re: [Groff] Proper Small Caps.
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 20:20:20 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 07:57:25PM -0500, Doug McIlroy wrote:
> Subject: Re: [Groff] Proper Small Caps.
> I recoil from text infected with capital pox, and don't see
> small caps as much improvement. They do make sense in all-caps
> text, but sporadic S\s-2MALL\s0 C\s-2APS\s0 or anything like
> it is not a cure for the pox.

I agree with the sentiment; titles, phrases, or quotations (etc.)
in all-caps sound like the Emperor inscribing diktats on walls in
order to intimidate the plebs. The vast majority of book covers
today are in all-caps since subtlety is antithetical to
marketing. I rarely have any influence over the covers for the
books I typeset, but I swear that when I have the opportunity to
design a cover I will never set the title in capitals.

Nonetheless, especially in scholarly and political publishing,
acronyms are frequently needed. Setting them in small caps
lessens their obtrusiveness in the text, I feel. A style that I
see in some British publications (e.g., London Review of Books --
maybe it's more commonly accepted) is that if an acronym is
pronouceable it's rendered as a proper noun, as Doug mentions
about Unix.

Large-and-small caps, I think, can work for authors' names or
running heads in text sizes smaller than the regular text without
seeming to be shouting.

        -- Steve

Steve Izma
Home: 35 Locust St., Kitchener N2H 1W6    p:519-745-1313
Work: Wilfrid Laurier University Press    p:519-884-0710 ext. 6125
E-mail: address@hidden or address@hidden

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