Do diacritics and letter signs make written text look bad?

Rodrigo   Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:51 pm GMT
Thanks for the answer but when I saw words with two or more accents I realised they don't mark stress. When I say accentuate I mean orthographically, sorry for the confusion.
Guest   Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:09 pm GMT
Brennus [Moderator] Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:18 am GMT
<<Personally, I think that diacritical marks can often make a language look beautiful and exotic. J.R.R. Tolkien seems to have liked them because they appear in languages that he created in his "Lord of The Rings.">>

I agree on that, Brennus!

<<The downside, however is, as pointed out by the authors of "The Loom of Language," that diacritical marks slow down the speed of writing and add to the cost of printing. For this reason, most "progressive" scholars and linguists have tended to prefer the use of a separate letter or pair of letters for a certain sound e.g. tc, cc, cz or ch for /ch/ rather than using a hachek (Č) or cedilla (ç) to modify the sound of the letter. >>

To put an accent over a letter should take more time and therefore slow down the speed of writing? Adding a letter instead an accent also takes additional time, and therefore also slows down writing.

How can you say that it adds to the cost of writing? In former times, you needed more letters in your type case, so a little more cost, but faster setting of the text and less paper used.

Using more than one letter to designate a certain sound formes consonant clusters, especially it two or more of this sounds come consecutively. Then, people complain about that!

On mechanical typewriters, there's only place for a limited number of
letters with diacritics (this would be fast), or, you must use nomal letter with backspace (would slow down writing, but you can have more letters with diacritics).

Nowadays, we've got computers and graphical user interfaces and unicode, so using diacritics in a text shouldn't be a problem anymore.

Yes, too much diacritics don't look good, but having them makes a text look more interesting, especially if they really denote something, regardless if it'a a different or modified sound or a ''historical remark'' as the circumflex marking a former s following the letter. The french word ''déjà'' looks quite nice and very symmetrically.
curious g   Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:12 pm GMT
Yes, a French word like "déjà" does look symmetrical, often does this diacritic combination occur in French?

The reason it is symmetrical is because you have the acute followed by the grave in a relative near position to balance each other. It would also look symmetrical if you had the grave followed by the acute. But how often does this occur?
K. T.   Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:55 am GMT
hachek (Č) -Brennus

Thanks, I didn't know what that was called in English.
Guest   Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:25 am GMT
How about some Apache?

'Iłk'id́ą, k ǫǫ yá'édįná'a.
'Ákoo Tł'ízhe hooghéí dá'áíná bikǫ' 'óliná'a.
'Ákoo Tł'ízheí gotál yiis'́ąná'a.
'Ákoo Mai'áee híłghoná'a.
Gotál jiis'́ąí 'áee, Mai tsíbąąee naaná'azhishná'a.
'Ákoo bitseeí tsínáiłgoná'a.