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What is the name and use of the extra bow on the letter c in Doctrine? Diacritic or calligraphic decoration, or misprint?

enter image description here


Edit: With the name given in the comments, I found an existing good answer here: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/25118/is-there-any-significance-in-little-curls-joining-the-st-and-ct-in-old-books

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2 Answers 2

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It is not a diacritic, it is a ligature. These are probably more common in older typesetting.

The same thing can be done with the sequence <st> as with <ct>.

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  • BTW the combination is a ligature. What is the name of that specific diacritic, if it even has a name?
    – user6726
    Oct 7, 2020 at 14:27
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    @user6726 what diacritic are you referring to? There isn't one in the rendition of "ct" up there; it's only a graphical variation. Oct 7, 2020 at 15:41
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    The "hook" is a frequent diacritic between t and certain consonants in older manuscripts. I don't care if you don't like the name "diacritic": my question is what that character is called. Do you have a reason to not call it a diacritic? For example, what do you call "cedilla", "tilde" and so on?
    – user6726
    Oct 7, 2020 at 15:58
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    @user6726 The name of the character is, or would be, "C-T ligature". Even if what you're looking for existed, it would be considered a typographical term like "serif", "swash", etc. not a diacritic.
    – Nardog
    Oct 7, 2020 at 16:28
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I just wanted to add a brief comment re: the name of the connecting element in question.

I personally haven't seen any standardised term for it. Sometimes it is referred to as a bow or a loop (e.g. the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.). Descriptively, it is a semicircular stroke above ct.

I'm not quite sure why - perhaps @Cerberus or someone else could corroborate this - but I think it is so because it would be rather superfluous. The most common way to refer to ct is either the ct-ligature or ligatured ct, which already implies presence/use of the connecting symbol, so really there is no need to have a special term for it.

see below, for instance, a screenshot from Delorez 2006 The Palaeography of Gothic manuscript books: From the twelfth to the early sixteenth century:

enter image description here

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