Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Did you know what the hand-with-pointing-finger symbol is called, other than "hand-with-pointing-finger symbol"? Neither did I.

Manicule isn't in the Oxford English Dictionary, but it is a name for this symbol.

Related reading and viewing
Toward a History of the Manicule
Flickr manicule group

comments: 6

Geo-B said...

Did you know the little curlicues or floral designs which divide portions of printed text are called dingbats?

Michael Leddy said...

I sort of knew that, yes, but only recently, from the font Zapf Dingbats. Funny — all those years of All in the Family and I never thought to look up the word dingbat.


Pilcrow is the one that amazed me.

Pilcrow Sign
Pilcrow Sign
On a Mac OS computer the pilcrow character can be generated by typing Option + 7.

On a Windows system there is an applet called "Character Map" which shows all the characters in a particular character set, i.e., typeface. On many of the character sets if you hover your pointer over a character the name of that character will appear. I'd start with Times New Roman and go from there. You won't find Dingbats in Character Map, but you will find character sets for Webdings and Wingdings!

Michael Leddy said...

Pilcrow is new to me. Thanks, Lesle!

Genevieve Netz said...

In case anyone doesn't know, you can access the Windows Character Map easily by clicking the Windows icon at bottom left, clicking "Run," and typing "charmap" in the box.

Michael Leddy said...

Go command line! Thanks, Genevieve.

On a Mac, go to Edit on the menu bar and choose Special Characters. Then open Character Info and, if you really want to explore, Font Variation.