sufficiently December 7, 2010 10:48 AM   Subscribe

sufficiently Do the "ff"s in this font look funny to you? Or is it just me? posted by ovvl to Bugs at 10:48 AM (60 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Ligatures
posted by tjenks at 10:50 AM on December 7, 2010


Ligatures, son, they be ligatures.
posted by nomadicink at 10:51 AM on December 7, 2010


In what font?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:52 AM on December 7, 2010


No, it's just normal Verdana, like I have set in all my preferences.
posted by scruss at 10:52 AM on December 7, 2010


No, as far as I can tell it's just a unicode artifact of cut-and-paste from the PDF being referenced in this comment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:53 AM on December 7, 2010


I'm pretty sure that ffi is a special character that (for me at least, Chrome/Win7) winds up pulled in from an entirely different font. It's got serifs for ffi's sake.

I blame the dread poodle ffiffi.
posted by arto at 10:53 AM on December 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's kind of weird, because I was trying to find where it said "sufficiently", but apparently Firefox rendered the "ffi" as one symbol, so it couldn't find any instances with a quicksearch. It looks double-weird in the title of this post.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:54 AM on December 7, 2010


Yep, they look funny. They also look more like a long s with a ligature on it than like an f. Silly font designer!
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:56 AM on December 7, 2010


F likes to touch itself, is all.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:57 AM on December 7, 2010


Ah, well, if they're ligatures, then they must be there on purpose, right? What? You deny that this is a conspiracy?

Kidding, everything here should be verdana, but the "ffi" is a big rolling script font that looks pasted in (on my screen). Too bad if you can't see it, it's cute. Maybe I'll make a screen-shot.
posted by ovvl at 10:58 AM on December 7, 2010


Also interesting to notice: the url shows it as "suciently".
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:59 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone probably scanned the quoted text from a printed newspaper or magazine and the OCR routine decided that the printed letters f f i were the single character ffi.

Once it got pulled into a PDF or other digital format it's just been carried along with the same error.
posted by Babblesort at 11:03 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can I change my metafilter name to be ffiffi?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:04 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whatever character that is it renders fine, although really weird looking, in my browser but shows up as an "i don't get it" square in the firefox window title.
posted by dead cousin ted at 11:05 AM on December 7, 2010


If you can only see this in verdana, I put a screen-shot in my profile (if you're curious).
posted by ovvl at 11:07 AM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


ovvl: "If you can only see this in verdana, I put a screen-shot in my profile (if you're curious)."

Holy crap, that's nothing like what it looks like for me, and I'm using Verdana. It's so classy!
posted by specialagentwebb at 11:13 AM on December 7, 2010


Someone probably scanned the quoted text from a printed newspaper or magazine and the OCR routine decided that the printed letters f f i were the single character ffi.

I think it's more likely that the "f f i" was changed to "ffi" during a publication's production process and ended up on the web that way.

ovvl: Your screenshot is pretty awesome. It doesn't look that way for me though.
posted by grouse at 11:20 AM on December 7, 2010


The ligatures are displaying in what looks to be Zapfino on my display. Only the ligatures. The rest of the text is boring old Arial.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:20 AM on December 7, 2010


I recently found out that μ (Greek letter mu) and µ (micron symbol), although homoglyphs are not the same symbol and are treated differently by some computing systems (like Wikipedia or Firefox) and not by others (like Google).
posted by DU at 11:31 AM on December 7, 2010


Oh you just wait till Stewriffic gets here!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:42 AM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


gawd, it's two esses.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:59 AM on December 7, 2010


My favorite movie is Riffiffi !
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:38 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh you just wait till Stewriffic gets here!

Or ffive fresh ffish.
posted by jedicus at 12:42 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm just impressed that Notion bothered to use proper ligatures in a blog comment. Most newspaper editors don't even bother with that these days...
posted by schmod at 12:44 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


The page title in Firefox is "su[square]ciently"
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:49 PM on December 7, 2010


I'm just glad that it's the f's and not the s's that are stylized. That Julian Assange thread could be extra weird.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:58 PM on December 7, 2010


I'm not seeing it.

I'M NOT SEEING IT!!

My crystal is blinking red, does this mean I have to report to the Carousel?
posted by quin at 1:17 PM on December 7, 2010


Oh, wait. Chrome was protecting me. I can easily see it in Firefox.

Everything is fine, nothing to see here. My hand is totally not blinking. I need these gloves because it's cold. That's all.

Leave me alone.
posted by quin at 1:20 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am developing a real affinity for this! I'm trying not to use it sloppily (or, indeed, scruffi ly), though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:25 PM on December 7, 2010


Curses. I was all set to drop $5 on my first sockpuppet, but you can only use English letters (and numbers, I guess) for usernames. This is character set discrimination, you typofascists! Free the glyphs! Unicode or death!
posted by jedicus at 1:36 PM on December 7, 2010


Sidhedevil, consort of Zalgo. Bow before her or be found insufficient!
posted by Babblesort at 1:38 PM on December 7, 2010


Hey, does this font make my aff look big? Be honest.
posted by Shepherd at 1:43 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


II dunno, that ffi looks iffy.
posted by boo_radley at 1:47 PM on December 7, 2010

I'm just impressed that Notion bothered to use proper ligatures in a blog comment. Most newspaper editors don't even bother with that these days.
Because they are a display artifact and you’re not supposed to type them; the rendering engine puts them in. The underlying form must always be discrete letters.
posted by joeclark at 1:48 PM on December 7, 2010


I use trebuchet ms and can't see it. Then I changed it back to verdana and I still can't see it. It's not bloody fair!
posted by deborah at 1:54 PM on December 7, 2010


Oh, wait. Chrome was protecting me. I can easily see it in Firefox.


That's ffuny, I can see it in Chrome.
posted by fixedgear at 1:57 PM on December 7, 2010


I'm just impressed that Notion bothered to use proper ligatures in a blog comment.

Not that you shouldn't be impressed, but there are plugins for many blog platforms which will magically translate plain ASCII into Unicode, complete with real quotes, em- and en-dashes instead of hyphens, ellipsis instead of three periods, and (if you enable it) some ligatures.

SmartyPants With Ligatures is one of the more common ones, and you can play with it here.

I suspect he has something like that installed. Which is still impressive and good.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:57 PM on December 7, 2010


ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμμ--
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:07 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


oh ffs
posted by Eideteker at 2:14 PM on December 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Raffish chaffinches scoffing ruffians muffins,

Pu ffing boffins affix iffiest buffing.

Inefficient afficionados affirm huffily,

Coiffing griffins' effigies sniffishly trafficking puffins,

Official maffias ragamuffins staffing coffins.
posted by ob at 2:23 PM on December 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't know what to say, but I was summoned it seems. Hi.
Love,
Stewriffic
posted by Stewriffic at 2:29 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I effing love this.
posted by the_blizz at 2:33 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have long had my default font for Metafilter set to Adobe's Cronos Pro. One of the things I like about Firefox is that it'll use the extended set of f ligatures, so all of this looks fine with the exception of the post title at the top which is in Arial with the ffi ligature pulled from Zapfino.

(As an aside, I've always disliked that post titles don't use my selected font. At least the dates on the main pages are in a contrasting serif font. But Arial for post titles? Ugh. Pony?)
posted by D.C. at 2:51 PM on December 7, 2010


The 'fi' in stupefied (in the same linked sentence) does the same thing.
posted by rocket88 at 2:59 PM on December 7, 2010


I need these gloves because it's cold.

Hey grandpa, I'm pretty sure only you and I get that joke, next time you can just MeMail it to me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:11 PM on December 7, 2010


all i see is little boxes. stupid IE6 work computergrumblegrumblegrar
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:14 PM on December 7, 2010


What OS and browser are you using?
posted by floam at 3:24 PM on December 7, 2010


(Here is how it is "supposed" to look)

Pulling in the ligature from Zapfino seems like a bug to me, whatever is choosing to do that. I know back in the day pango would do things like that, but it should be smart enough to pick a different font when that's clearly not the right thing.

Is there any chance that Zapfino is the only font on your system providing that ligature? Are you on OS X (it's mostly an OS X font, although not really)? You may have disabled some other fonts you shouldn't have, perhaps?
posted by floam at 3:30 PM on December 7, 2010


Huh, it looked normal-ish on my work PC, but crazy, giant cursive at home on a Mac. (FF both times.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:00 PM on December 7, 2010


Circle the wagons ∰
posted by unliteral at 4:04 PM on December 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh, yeah, FF on my Mac does it too. Weird.
posted by floam at 4:11 PM on December 7, 2010


Not just me. FTW.
posted by theredpen at 4:22 PM on December 7, 2010


ffad Eyed ffal

By ffoloman ffaint fftephen.

There'v a fftreet near Plymouth Ho where ffailorv like to go,
They've an inn there called the ffauffy ffuffffy Cat.
With a broken-hearted gal by the name off ffad ffyed ffal,
On a ffeat beffide the bar you'll ffind her ffat.

ffhe will whiffper ffweet nuffffingv in your ear, ffip your wine and ffwig your beer,
Or ffing a ffimple ffong though fflightly fflat.
ffhe uffed to juggle with a carrot, ffour bananav and a parrot,
But ffingv got hard 'cauve ffhe had to eat the act.

Oh ffed a tear (ffed a tear)
ffor ffad Eyed ffal (ffad Eyed ffal)
All her hopeff and dreamv will ffade and ffall apart (ffall apart)
And be ffinffere (be ffinffere)
To your own gal (your own gal)
Remember in your hand you hold your lover'v... heart

To the ffeamen ffhe wav a prive, a real ffight ffor ffore eyev,
And the offffifferv, they ffmiled on her av well.
And Captain ffidney ffmart took one look and lofft hiv heart,
Though he ffwore he'd marry Lindy ffuvan ffnell.

One night he ffelt her ffofftly ffigh, ffal ffaid, "I'll love you till I die,
Let me ffeal it, let me ffeal it with a kiffff."
ffoundv off anger ffilled the air, ffid and ffal ffaw ffuvan there,
ffhe had a kniffe and , "ffo it hav come to thiff."

The kniffe wav aimed at ffal'v ffofft puffffom, ffhe carried with a cuffffion,
And ffpinning ffomerffaulting through the air.
It ended up in ffidney, jufft below hiv kidney,
Through that ffcreaming Lindy ffaw him lying there.

But ffed a tear (ffed a tear)
ffor ffad Eyed ffal (ffad Eyed ffal)
All her hopeff and dreamff will ffade and ffall apart (ffall apart)
And be ffinffere (be ffinffere)
To your own gal (your own gal)
Remember in your hand you hold a young girl'v... part

ffal ruffffed to ffidney'v ffide, "Oh ffpeak to me," ffhe cried,
ffhe poured ffome whiffkey down him ffrom a nearby glaffff.
And ffhe nurffed him night and day, and diffcretely turned away,
When ffhe gave him hiv injection in hiv calff.

To hiv cheekff there came a ffluffff, he kiffffed her hand, that made her bluffff,
ffhe ffmiled ffo happily to ffee him looking ffo well.
ffoon he could fftand on hiv own ffeet, and walk unaided down the fftreet,
ffo he went offff and married Lady ffuvan ffnell.

ffo ffed a tear (ffed a tear)
ffor ffad Eyed ffal (ffad Eyed ffal)
All her hopeff and dreamv will ffade and ffall apart (ffall apart)
And be ffinffere (be ffinffere)
To your own gal (your own gal)
Remember in your hand you hold another'v... heart

Iff you're ever Plymouth way and down that fftreet you chanffe to fftray,
And you ffeel ffoolhardy and adventurouff.
ffink careffully beffore you venture through the door,
Beneath the ffwinging ffign off that ffly old pooff.

Don't drink with ffilthy ffarah, or cattle market Clara,
Or knickerv Nell, they're all ffweet and reffined.
But iff your heart iv ffilled with lufft, and drink with ffal you mufft,
Remember ffhe hav ffuffffered ffo be kind.

Slowly

And iff, when ffhe'v had a ffew, you hold her cloffe to you,
And you ffenffe you're in a dream though you're awake.
Don't be taken by ffurprive iff, when ffhe'v cloved her eyev,
ffhe callv you darling ffidney by mifftake.

Jufft ffed a tear (ffed a tear)
ffor ffad Eyed ffal (ffad Eyed ffal)
All her hopeff and dreamff will ffade and ffall apart (ffall apart)
And be ffinffere (be ffinffere)
To your own gal (your own gal)
Remember in your hand you hold your lover'v... heart
posted by grumblebee at 4:50 PM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hah. Proof: You have too much time on your...

[Eh. Sorry. What am I doing here, an hour later, still looking at ffs??]
posted by Namlit at 4:59 PM on December 7, 2010


Pulling in the ligature from Zapfino seems like a bug to me, whatever is choosing to do that. I know back in the day pango would do things like that, but it should be smart enough to pick a different font when that's clearly not the right thing.

Is there any chance that Zapfino is the only font on your system providing that ligature? Are you on OS X (it's mostly an OS X font, although not really)? You may have disabled some other fonts you shouldn't have, perhaps?


It appears to be a bug with Firefox. The current version of Safari on a Mac displays the ligature in Arial (and elsewhere) properly. The interesting thing is that Safari didn't support ligatures in the past while FF did, so there is obviously a difference in their text handling engines.
posted by D.C. at 7:54 PM on December 7, 2010


Man, and here I thought someone had figured out a hack to do custom fonts in titles.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:34 PM on December 7, 2010


Firefox 3.6.8 on Ubuntu Hardy looks as it should. Pasting "sufficiently" into Mousepad reveals that the system monospace font is apparently missing ffi because I can clearly see the substitution happening there.
posted by flabdablet at 11:28 PM on December 7, 2010


Yep, they look funny. They also look more like a long s with a ligature on it than like an f. Silly font designer!

Yo man, you talking about my boy Hermann Zapf. You best STEP OFF.

It wasn't enough that his childhood in Germany was marked by famine, flu and eventually WWII? He went on to design the type of his time— Optima, which is synonymous with American monuments and the national park service. He started out pulling metal, type by hand, and later learned the hard way, what the computer age had to say when his Palatino was jacked by Billy Gates. Though once bitten, twice shy, he wanted to give OTF a try. He recognized the potential of a digital font, which had ligature replacement as a brand new stunt. Zapfino was completed and a first of its kind, though now its mostly used to commit typography crimes. Yeah Zapfino is the font of cheesy valentines, but I appreciate its calligraphic state of mind. Zapf couldn't control where his new font went. Though it bears his name I don't think he'd repent.
posted by fontophilic at 10:14 AM on December 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


So glad someone posted this. I spent a lot of time in that thread trying to figure it out, and since no one else seemed to notice it I was getting a little paranoid.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:41 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing this thing as two F's and an I rendered in the Zapfino typeface. Is that what everyone else is seeing? Because if it is, aside from my curiosity as to why someone would throw random Zapfino letters into a MeFi comment about all this Julian Assange drama, I see nothing strange about the general appearance of the letters.
posted by Sara C. at 9:56 PM on December 8, 2010


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