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After nearly five centuries, some of Arrighi’s letters need help. Here are three of them, the letters q h and z.


One. These two letters look too much alike.On the right is the letter q with a descender that turns to the left. Here are two solutions.


The first solution is to wite the letter q with a straight descender, such as in the second letter in a double-f combination. It will make a legible letter q.
    The second solution is to use the capital form: the letter o with an oblique tail to the right. (See the book, page 9 for example.) It is a grand letter but can get tangled up in other descenders.



Two. A letter h with a final stroke that turns to the left is easily mistaken for the letter b.
    The solution: use the second stem of the letter n for the final stroke.



Three. A few extravagant letters z (try writing “jazz“) can overwhelm a column of text. Arrighi provides only one example of the solution: a small letter z that can be used instead. (See the book, page 24, line 3 .)


La Operina is a fine teacher. Copy it out, page by page.
    The formal chancery style of the sixteenth century wasn't meant for great speed. There are too many decorative knobs and flourishes. It hasn’t got enough joins. But when it is well written, it is a work of art.



Copyright © 2002 Gunnlaugur SE Briem. All rights reserved. Updated 01 May 2003