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Re: [Groff] Proper Small Caps.

From: Meg McRoberts
Subject: Re: [Groff] Proper Small Caps.
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2015 01:38:56 +0000 (UTC)

My recollection from Bell Labs (Naperville location in the mid-80's) was that 
the lawyers hadcome up with some scheme where UNIX had to be all caps plus in a 
"unique" font.  These werethe days of nroff/mmx and the nascent times of 
device-independent troff so we used the smallerall-caps "UNIX" string to meet 
those criteria.  Our style was to make any all-caps string 1-pointsize smaller 
than the other text just because it looked better so we had to go to 
But I don't remember us using the U\s-2NIX\s+2 string.

      From: Eric S. Raymond <address@hidden>
 To: Doug McIlroy <address@hidden> 
Cc: address@hidden 
 Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 5:26 PM
 Subject: Re: [Groff] Proper Small Caps.
Doug McIlroy <address@hidden>:

> > Thought it might be of interest given troff's
> > long-time S\s-2MALL\s0 C\s-2APS\s0, especially used in the formatting of
> > Unix.  IIRC, Dennis Ritchie said they did it because the CAT gave them
> > the possibility, but it was regretted for the UNIX/Unix confusion it
> > caused.
> I think this is urban legend. Small caps were not used in UNIX
> manuals or in the Bell System Technical Journal articles about
> UNIX. Fairly early on, we in the Unix lab began to treat Unix
> as a proper noun, but the lawyers had trademarked the uppercase
> name and got their way in many publications, including the books
> by Kernighan and Ritchie and Kernighan and Pike. U\s-2NIX\s0
> was very rare, if it ever happened at all.

Thank you for clearing that up.  It's a minor point, never worth 
bothering you about, but I've been wondering about it for decades.
        <a href="";>Eric S. Raymond</a>


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