Category Archives: language

Deadly Typos

A typo, or typographical error, is a fairly commonplace thing and an inherent danger of the printed word. Historically such errors have at times produced catastrophic and very costly results. The lack of a hyphen in some computer coding cost NASA hundreds of millions … Continue reading

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Moronic Iconic

  I have always thought Jonathan Meades’ scathing criticism of the casual use of the word iconic amply justified. I suspect there are many things he, a well known British writer, critic and film maker, and me, would disagree on, … Continue reading

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Arabic typesetting revisited

Hand written naskh (by Ibrahim Khattat – Iraq 20th century) My involvement with arabic has always been, for over 40 years, essentially calligraphic and I have always disliked the idea of trying to mechanise an essentially hand written script.  But … Continue reading

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The Descent of Man

The latest L’Oreal TV ad goes like this: A beautiful female model pouts, “I believe in science, I don’t believe in miracles.” It’s a statement of faith. Odd, as they have a product called Revitalift Miracle Blur. So I don’t think L’Oreal … Continue reading

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Rumi, Rihlas and Other Considerations

If you are Turkish, Afghan or Iranian, most likely you would consider your ‘bard’ to be Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi the great poet and Imam who is buried in Konya, the capital of central Anatolia, Turkey. He was born in Balkh, … Continue reading

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Translation, Lost and Found

Above: A page from an as yet unpublished edition of the Shama’il of Tirmidhi. Part One Although my work is principally typesetting books, something previously done by men in inky overalls composing metal type, I do actually read some of … Continue reading

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Life is Transistory

The title of this post, a malapropism by an old buddy of mine many years ago, has now strangely become a reality. Little switching devices (ie transistors) like the ones on the left, millions of which are embedded in all … Continue reading

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