Book sizes

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Book sizes

Post by John Barton » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:13 am

Do only purists decry present usage in the printing and paper industries of abbreviations for latin ordinals?
I refer to such barbarisms as 'sixmo' for sexto, 'twentyfourmo' for vigesimoquarto, 'thirtytwomo' for trigesimosegundo, and many more. More specifically, it is not these that appall, but the contractions. If we can tolerate 6mo, 24mo, 24mo and 32mo in place of 6to, 24to, 32do, why not go for complete uniformity and have folimo, quarmo, octamo, etc? (twomo, fourmo, eightmo) in place of folio, quarto, and octavo.
Perhaps something similar with type sizes; proof that some can't pronounce them is evident from a quiz show in which a contestant failed to find a four-letter word rhyming with 'deny'. (It was demy, of course).
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Re: Book sizes

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:27 pm

They sound like the Marx Brothers' children.
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Re: Book sizes

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:30 pm

In other words, the children of the Marx Fathers.
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Re: Book sizes

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:34 pm

John Barton wrote:... proof that some can't pronounce them is evident from a quiz show in which a contestant failed to find a four-letter word rhyming with 'deny'. (It was demy, of course).
Maybe it's just me, but I'd have thought that 'defy' would fall more naturally to most people.
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Re: Book sizes

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:20 pm

Nigh is the only one I can think of if we're strict and demand an identical last syllable. Otherwise, high, stye, loci, ally ...
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Re: Book sizes

Post by tony h » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:05 pm

John I am with you.

those words bring back memories of visiting my grandfather's printing works in the 1960s.
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I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: Book sizes

Post by John Barton » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:16 am

I suppose it's a matter of perspective. We look at '24to' and the word 'vicesimoquarto' automatically flashes into our brain. Or perhaps 'twenty-four toe', suggesting some quadruped monster. But to standardize these terms ending with -vo, -to, -mo and -do, into a uniform '-mo-' (2mo, 4mo, 8mo etc)
is truly jarring. Not that I abhor abbreviation. But expansion can be rather fun too.
I have for example an old printed Latin Augustine with a dated colophon; perhaps the editor was not enamored of arabic numerals - in place of '9 Nov. 1472', he has the glorious 44-letter word:
MILLESIMOQUADRINGENTESIMOSEPTUAGESIMOSECUNDA. Quinto Idus novembris. Meaning the same, but less stark.
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Re: Book sizes

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:58 pm

Oh, old printed Latin Augustines with dated colophons are all the rage down our way.
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Re: Book sizes

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:21 pm

I'm trying to work out what the Latin would be for the paper size that in English is known as 'smugly superior', but for some reason my mind's a blank sheet.
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Re: Book sizes

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:22 am

.. just this last week I spent a very wonderful time learning the ancient craft of coptic bookbinding .. note that even though this method of bookbinding derives from the Coptic Christians we did not learn anything about Saint Augustine .. the Celts got a mention though .. and John I am not sure if my page size was 2mo, 4mo, 8mo or Wotmo .. but I can recommend learning the craft as it was very satisfying and peaceful ..

St WoZ the Binder
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Re: Book sizes

Post by John Barton » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:15 am

Convention all too often means abandonment of the past. I tolerate officials, so why can't they tolerate me? In supplying dates as "Pudding Monday", or "7ber/7bris" for September, etc?
I sit in my armchair, refusing to be the "man in the street". Leaving things like gambling strictly alone (if I ever wanted to buy a lottery ticket, I'd study for years to avoid the humility of failing to win - it's crazy to venture into fields reserved for experts!).
Amazing how many incunabula can (or rather, could) be acquired on a minimal wage if one avoids fast cars, fast women, and slow horses. I recall reading, around the '60's, of a very ordinary man living in a council house, who one day got the impulse to see an auction for the first time. Sotheby's in London. He just intended to watch from curiosity, but when a 16th century tudor bronze canon was trailing at 5000 pounds, which field he knew nothing about, thought it so cheap that he impulsively bid and got it. Not sure whether his marriage survived; it filled the parlour corner-wise, involved borrowing his children's bank accounts, and a bit more. But admirable single-mindedness, and would fetch some hundred times as much today. Mad but sober. My book was cheap, since half is missing; the queen has the other half. Wonder if she really wants it?
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