Blue Pencil Comments no. 1

When I set up this slow blog I decided not to publish comments for several reasons: 1. I wanted any comments to be substantive rather than simply expressions of praise or vituperation; and 2. I feared that I wouldn’t have the time to curate them properly. The sort of comments that I would like to include on the blog are those that add knowledge: correcting my posts regarding facts, spelling, etc.; adding additional information fleshing out my comments; or arguing persuasively against my opinions. I am not trying to stifle dialogue.

For the time being, however, I will be monitoring any comments I post. Not out of censorship, but with an eye toward maintaining a certain level of scholarship, intellectual discourse and civility on Blue Pencil. I want to know which postings of mine are specifically being commented on. And I want to know who the commenters are. I don’t want to post comments from people hiding behind online pseudonyms. But this first posting of comments is going to break this rule.

If you are commenting on one of the Blue Pencil textual posts please be precise in citing which post and what in the post you are referring to. This is especially important if you are correcting me so that I can check to see if the mistake is actually mine or exists in the original text I am commenting on. It is also helpful if, for factual corrections, you cite sources.

Anyway, the first posted comments come from someone identified only as Kupfers. My comments on his or hers are in brackets and sans serif type.

Kupfers 4/9/10

I very much enjoy your site and love your attentive attitude. However since I lived in Weimar for quite a long while I’d like to correct a tiny detail:

p. 319 “Von Kessler, Henry Graf” should be “von Kessler, Henry Graf” and indexed under K, not V.

It’s »Harry Graf Kessler« (the »von« usually left out), referred to in a list as »Kessler, Harry Graf«

[which post and book is this referring to? The Chicago Manual of Style says that in English there is inconsistency in how particles in surnames are referenced. The older practice was to keep them and capitalize them when used alone: thus Von Graf. They do not say what modern practice is. As for indexing such names the Manual (18.102) gives up, saying that it should be based on tradition. I would agree with Kupfers that Henry Graf von Kessler should be under K and that is how he is listed in some books on fine printing I have. However, the von was left out because he dropped it after World War I.]


from Kupfers 4/17/10

Dear Mr. Shaw,

I think, there is no such thing as a “Glasfemälde”, maybe “Glasgemälde”?

[These comments refer to my post on the special Tschichold issue of Idea magazine. This refers to p. 24 where my comment mentioned work by Rudolf Koch. For details of it see pp. 37–40 in Rudolf Koch: Letterer, Type Designer, Teacher by Gerald Cinamon (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press and London: The British Library, 2000)]

Further more it’s “Gebrüder” Klingspor with ü

[see p. 53]

“Nikolaus Pevsner« with o

[this is what I have on p. 113; is his name misspelled elsewhere?]

“Friedrich” and “Gildewart” instead of Friederich Vordemberge-Gilgenwart

[see p. 72]

“Typographische Gestaltung” without s

[see p. 84]

“Begegnungen. Künstlernovellen” with ü

[see p. 89]

ETH is correctly spelled “Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule” in “Zürich”

[see p. 96; The umlaut on Zurich depends on whether it is English or German. I meant “in Zurich” to be English but since that is part of the full name of the school it is misleading. I have corrected it to be in German with the umlaut.]

Pierre Simon Fournier le jeune can very well be named a writing master: Manuel Typographique, vol. I 1764 and vol. II 1766

[Fournier’s manual is not about writing but about typemaking. FHe was not a writing master. He was a punchcutter and typefounder.]

“Deut-/sche Werkbund” is correctly hyphenated according to german [sic] rules

[German (or Italian or French) hyphenation rules do not apply to texts in English. “The fundamental principle of German word division is to divide on a vowel as far as possible.” The Chicago Manual of Style 13th ed. (1982), 9.36, p. 258]

“Willikürfreie Maßverhältnisse …” should be “Willkürfreie”

[p. 199]

[Most of these comments by Kupfers are correct. I have already incorporated them into my post on the special Tschichold issue of Idea magazine.]