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Ligatures are fun!
November 23, 2005 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Typophile speculates. We have several symbols in english that stand for words commonly used enough that simplifying their written forms (@, &, %) became common. What would have happened if chat-speak had become common before computers, people started writing them in shorthand, and type foundries realized that we needed a Helvitica Medium Bold version of the WTF ligature?
posted by eriko (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
As a personal comment, fractal's symbol for ROFL is jsut perfect.
posted by eriko at 6:27 PM on November 23, 2005


Makes me wish I had a WTF key instead of this, ^.
posted by my sock puppet account at 6:41 PM on November 23, 2005


I think we already have a symbol for WTF.
It's called the interrobang.
posted by iconjack at 6:47 PM on November 23, 2005


beautiful FPP, thanks eriko
posted by xthlc at 6:53 PM on November 23, 2005


my sock puppet account, what does ^ mean? I've seen people use it before, and I don't get it.
posted by parallax7d at 7:11 PM on November 23, 2005


that last one's a doozy.
posted by trondant at 7:37 PM on November 23, 2005


WARNING: TUBGIRL AT END OF THREAD
posted by S.C. at 7:37 PM on November 23, 2005


Very cool.

As an aside, from the link:

> because the ampersand is drawn diagonally up from the bottom right

Hm. Then… I must be writing my ampersands in reverse!


It is drawn starting from the bottom left, right? I tried doing it the other way and it took me forever to write something that even resembled an ampersand.

UGH. As of right now, the bottom of the post contains an extremely uncouth picture. Beware.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:40 PM on November 23, 2005


Should there be a NSFW added to this, thanks to the last picture? (Funny that they blur out the genitals in that picture, as if that's the gross and offensive part).
posted by duck at 7:46 PM on November 23, 2005


That last one is a bit complex, but it does get the 'OMFG' emotion across rather well, doesnt it...

Shudder.

'Till now, I'd avoided actually seeing the phenom that is 'TUBGIRL'. I need to rinse out my eyes.

and my soul.
posted by BadSeamus at 7:46 PM on November 23, 2005


PurplePorpoise: It is drawn starting from the bottom left, right? I tried doing it the other way and it took me forever to write something that even resembled an ampersand.

Dude. "&".

Puff, puff, pass, man...
posted by LordSludge at 7:50 PM on November 23, 2005


PurplePorpoise: hm? The only ways to start an ampersand written in a fluid motion is the bottom right or a bit raised on the right: &

Bottom right makes much more sense to me... the other way requires more precision.

Personally, I'd really like to see a glyph that can pass for both an ampersand and a treble clef. Someday I'll come up with it…
posted by Firas at 7:52 PM on November 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


Oh, christ, I swear tubgirl wasn't there when I posted this. Sorry all.
posted by eriko at 7:55 PM on November 23, 2005


wow.

my first tubgirl. bleeeeeeech


W T F indeed
posted by lalochezia at 7:55 PM on November 23, 2005


BadSeamus and lalochezia: I've never seen her either. Is it worth it to just get it over with? I'm kind of amazed that I've read /. for this many years w/out having had to see Tub Girl OR the goatse dude. Should I live on in ignorance? Get it over with?

thanks for the warning
posted by popechunk at 8:18 PM on November 23, 2005


No, do not check it out! There are some things you can't un-see. I saw goatse years ago, but had avoided tubgirl until just now.
posted by krunk at 8:23 PM on November 23, 2005


Oh, sweet JESUS! popechunk, don't look. Please... for your own sanity.
posted by brundlefly at 8:43 PM on November 23, 2005


I am sooo glad I didn't scroll far enough for the tubgirl. I'd seen her before, but it's one of those things that doesn't need a repeat performance.
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:06 PM on November 23, 2005


Uh, right. When I make an L with my thumb and forefinger, both of my hands make an L... uh, right... from the bottom right.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:09 PM on November 23, 2005


I think someone switched a link to get back at the Typophile people for outlinking. I can understand their frustration, but that's just wrong.
posted by luriete at 9:17 PM on November 23, 2005


Some poster linked an image in their post - not the Typophile people themselves. In any case, I'm sure it'll be deleted once the admin person/persons notice it.

Kind of sad that it's there. Detracts from an otherwise fascinating thread.

I rarely use the standard chat shorthand, but find myself writing "btw" more often than I'd like.
posted by aladfar at 9:29 PM on November 23, 2005


At 6:30 in the morning Tubgirl is not as strong... It's probably my lack of caffeine. Excellent post by the way . I want a new WTF et al. keyboard too.
posted by lorbus at 11:02 PM on November 23, 2005


Well, that's what I get for the one time I decide to click the link before I read the comments. Seen it before though, but still a shock when it comes out of nowhere.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:44 PM on November 23, 2005


This probably says a lot about me, but tubgirl doesn't shock me as much as it shocks me that someone was malicious enough to post it to such a great typophile thread.

About the thread: I think the MeFi community should band together, because we're a powerful force, and bring these glyphs into common use. Get the typophile folks to make a nice Type 1 and TTF and we'll all use it. Or something.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:52 PM on November 23, 2005


Gah. I was reading that thread in a class (that I teach) full of graphic design students, and I was about to recommend the thread to them... when I got to the bottom. I'm just hoping no one was looking at my monitor.

That was certainly the last place I expected to see tubgirl.
posted by litlnemo at 12:59 AM on November 24, 2005


Despite belated hoping on the part of their administrators, I really enjoyed that thread, it made my geeky parts tingle.

Now, who's going to design a "WARNING: TUBGIRL" ligature?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:10 AM on November 24, 2005


Tubgirl certainly makes reading Metafilter at work (which I guess I shouldn't be doing, but the project is quiet at the moment) pretty exciting.

I've seen her often enough that I know when I need to do an emergency scroll. I guess it's lucky there were more posts afterwards to get it off the screen. Could've been difficult to explain.

All up, nice post - I know some geeky designers who would be doing this for the rest of the day.
posted by wilberforce at 4:20 AM on November 24, 2005


I saw this yesterday when it was linked in from Kottke; the WTF's are all really good. Someone needs to bust out Fontographer and add some of these ligatures.

Also, I'm glad I didn't go look at the thread again now: S.C., you are my hero. Seeing tubgirl once was enough. The horror.
posted by chunking express at 6:21 AM on November 24, 2005


The really stupid thing is that tubgirl probably requires a lot more bandwidth than the original image they were so het up about being hotlinked.
posted by localroger at 8:11 AM on November 24, 2005


Damn, add me to the list of people wishing I had read the MeFi comments before I clicked the link. Too bad this is turning into a conversation about how you can't un-see tubgirl instead of the actual topic.
posted by raedyn at 8:13 AM on November 24, 2005


Add me as well. Arrgh. I'd gone a tubgirl-free life until now.

Figures it wouuld take a design / typography link to bait me into it...
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:41 AM on November 24, 2005


I'd never seen that image before...but now that I have, I feel 'different' somehow. Not just grossed out, but fundamentally changed. Does this feeling ever go away?
posted by rocket88 at 8:51 AM on November 24, 2005


After a while, rocket88, tubgirl becomes iconic and not immediately, viscerally disgusting. At least for me, I've replaced the visual with a little mental marker that merely says "oh hey tubgirl."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:59 AM on November 24, 2005


At least for me, I've replaced the visual with a little mental marker that merely says "oh hey tubgirl."

Heh, that's exactly how I feel about goatse now. I can stare and stare at it and it no longer recognize it as anything disgusting or off-putting. It's just goatse. This is what the internet has done to my brain.
posted by LeeJay at 9:04 AM on November 24, 2005


I'd never seen that image before...but now that I have, I feel 'different' somehow. Not just grossed out, but fundamentally changed. Does this feeling ever go away?

No. It's as cataclysmic as the day you discover your dad can't fix every problem. Life will never be the same once you realize that somewhere, there are people getting off on this stuff. Yuck.
posted by uncle harold at 9:14 AM on November 24, 2005


So anyway. Great post. And furthermore, who would be unlikely to be able to see see the interrobang on websites? I've just decded I want to use it and want to be sure it's wise.
posted by paperpete at 9:56 AM on November 24, 2005


Thankfully gone now...
posted by i_cola at 11:45 AM on November 24, 2005


paperpete: Most people should have a font capable of rendering it: ‽

Type ‽
posted by Firas at 12:05 PM on November 24, 2005 [1 favorite]





posted by Tlogmer at 3:32 PM on November 24, 2005


I love that WTF, it's a shame they didn't bust out a few acronyms. The LOLs mostly sucked, though. IMHO.

By the time I got to the thread, tubgirl was gone. Never having seen her, I decided it was time, so I actually went and google image searched her, I'd always expected it to be a really fat girl in the bath, or something. So, you could say she wasn't quite what I expected. Ugotnegams is still way worse.
posted by The Monkey at 10:34 PM on November 24, 2005



posted by BobInce at 4:27 AM on November 25, 2005


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