My thoughts- not knowledge necessarily - on the long S matter - many years
back the long s was pretty standard but of course there were not many of the
normal folk who could write or read. As time went on, it started changing -
but the long s remained in use where there was a double s. My great great
grandmother had the maiden name BOSSINGHAM - it comes up as Bofsingham quite
often but also as Bossingham - she was born late 1820s and came to Melbourne
1852. The long s (which looks like f to our eyes) is more in the Australian
records than the English ones from memory.
I jump forward to the old beautiful copperplate which I can read quite
easily - and was taught a bastardized version if it, according to my
grandfather, but my children (towards their later 30s) often struggle with.
They learned cursive script at school.. And even when I was taught, how was
a small t formed? Like a Capital A or as a printed t? and the capital q?
I was taught to do it like a figure 2.. similarly z and capital Z,
straggled way down below the line. R, too was occasionally different
depending on who wrote it. It can be very like an n if it is continued on
with the next letter never lifting the pen as we were taught. I remember
two styles of capital H especially as my surname was Hunter.. H all in one
so the first half of it looked like a capital T, or a single down stroke and
then a second, lifted the pen stroke that had a loop to make the crossbar of
the H. We have changed, in these days of most people being able to read and
write, pretty quickly as styles come and go with handwriting - I suspect
soon handwriting will be a thing of the past and it will all be typed - but
back a couple of centuries, such things would have taken much longer.
People were more isolated for one thing so the changes would not spread as
fast from the cities as now. And then you have different countries. To my
eyes, I can pick American handwriting from a hundred paces but not pick any
differences between individuals' handwriting at all - always have to look at
the return address! And similar but different - Americans put the return
address on the top left corner of the front - we put it on the back - I
worked at the mail exchange in Melbourne for international mail and it was
reasonably common for a parcel sent from here to a US address to be returned
because the US postal worker did not know he was looking at the back of the
parcel, at the return address even when it clearly was smaller and said FROM
in large letters.
As to why did things persist here perhaps longer than in the "home country"?
Think of the eg Italians who came here 1940s and 50s and even 60s - they
staunchly maintain their home traditions in the main. Then they go back to
the home country and find they are totally old fashioned as those traditions
are forgotten about in Italy, Greece whatever, itself and the "colony" has
remained in a sort of time capsule. I think the same happened with the US
and Canada - the word gotten is old English which stayed in the "colonies"
but was done away with in England itself.
Dawn. (also in Melbourne)
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Carol
Sent: Thursday, 30 April 2009 10:32 AM
Subject: [AUS-Tas] Definitely 'se'nnight'
That word was definitely 'se'nnight', as I've just come across it again,
the H.T.G. of 25th June, 1824, where the normal letter 'S' is universally
used. I know that this is an aside...but can anyone tell me the reason for
the two forms of S used formerly..I can see no rhyme nor reason to their
usage..it looks quite random to me.
AUS-Tasmania Mailing List Website http://www.rootsweb.com/~austashs/
Contact Admin AUS-Tasmania-Admin(a)rootsweb.com
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
AUS-TASMANIA-request(a)rootsweb.com with the word 'unsubscribe' without the
quotes in the subject and the body of the message
__________ NOD32 4043 (20090429) Information __________
This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.