Rotated letter

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In the days of printing with metal type sorts, it was common to rotate letters and digits 180° to create new symbols. This was done for example with the Palaeotype alphabet, the International Phonetic Alphabet, the Fraser script, and for some mathematical symbols. Perhaps the earliest instance of this that is still in use was turned e for schwa.

Note the leading J of Jacquard in Caslon italic typeface, which was turned for the pound sign £.

In the eighteenth-century Caslon metal fonts, the British pound sign (£) was set with a rotated italic uppercase J.[1]

Unicode support[edit]

The following rotated (turned) letters have Unicode codepoints unless otherwise indicated.

Latin[edit]

In this table, parentheses mark letters that stand in for themselves or for another. For instance, a rotated 'b' would be a 'q', and indeed some physical typefaces didn't bother with distinct sorts for those letters, while a rotated 's' would be itself. Long s with a combining dot below, ⟨ſ̣⟩, can stand in for a rotated j.

(En dashes are used to mark small caps that would not be very distinct from the turned lower case letter, though they are possible: turned small cap c is supported, for example: ⟨ᴐ⟩).

The Fraser script creates a number of duplicates of the rotated capitals.

Latin rotated letters
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Rotated minuscule ɐ·ɒ (q) ɔ (p) ə·ǝ ɟ[2] ᵷ·ɓ ɥ (ſ̣) ʞ ɯ (u) (o) (d) (b) ɹ (s) ʇ (n) ʌ ʍ (x) ʎ (z)
Rotated small cap 𝼂 (ʜ) (ɪ) ɾ[2] 𝼐 [a] (ɴ)
Rotated capital Ɔ Ǝ (H) (I) Ꞁ·⅂ [b] (N) (O) Ԁ (S) Ո Ʌ (X) (Z)
Fraser (ꓧ) (ꓲ) (ꓠ) (ꓳ) (ꓢ) (ꓫ) 𑾰 (ꓜ)

The letters ⅁, ⅂, ⅄ are specified as sans-serif. Additional small cap forms are found in the literature (e.g. turned ᴀ ᴋ ʟ ᴜ), but are not supported as of Unicode 13. Turned ɢ was added to the extIPA in 2015; it and turned ᴋ are scheduled for Unicode support in 2021.

Other rotated letters include the digraphs ᴂ and ᴔ. The "rotated" capital Q in Unicode is only turned 90 degrees: ℺.

Greek and Cyrillic[edit]

Many of the few rotated Greek letters are intended for mathematical notation. In this table, an en dash is used to mark Greek and Cyrillic letters that are not distinct from a Latin letter. Reversed L, ⟨⅃⟩, can stand in for a rotated gamma Γ, though it is defined[where?] as sans serif.

Greek rotated letters
Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω
Rotated minuscule ƍ ᴈ·϶ (θ) (ο) (χ)
Rotated capital (⅃) (Ζ) (Η) (Θ) (Ι) (Ν) (Ξ) (Ο) ⨿ (Φ) (Χ)
Cyrillic rotated letters
А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
Rotated minuscule (ж) ɛ (и) и̯ (н) (о) ԁ (ф) (х) є ʁ
Rotated capital (⅃) (Ж) Ɛ (И) И̯ (Н) (О) ⨿ Ԁ (Ф) (Х) Һ Iꟼ Є

ƍ⟩ is close to the turned form of one variant of lower-case Б.

In some fonts, an allograph of Ʒ supplies turned Σ.

In addition, the horseshoe ʊ ᶷ of the IPA has allographs that are a turned small-capital Ω.

Other[edit]

Other rotated symbols include ɞ (rotated or reversed ʚ), ʖ (rotated ʕ) (rotated ɽ), ɺ (rotated ɼ), ʁ (equivalent to rotated Cyrillic я, though historically[citation needed] it is an inverted Latin ʀ), the digits and , the insular g, and the ampersand . The 'turned comma' ⟨‘⟩ is, as its name suggests, a rotated comma. It is used for the Hawaiian letter ʻokina. Spanish uses the rotated punctuation marks ¡ and ¿.

Reversed letters[edit]

In addition to turned letters, Unicode supports a few reversed (mirror-image) letters such as ɘ, Ƨ ƨ, Ƹ ƹ, ʕ, ᴎ, ᴙ, ꟻ, ⅃ and ꟼ; Cyrillic Ԑ ԑ (reversed З з) and Ꙡ ꙡ (as well as Cyrillic И и and Я я, which are graphically equivalent to reversed Latin N ɴ and R ʀ), superscript ᶟ ᴻ, and the tresillo Ꜫ ꜫ, which historically is a reversed three. Current IPA ɜ is officially a reversed rather than rotated ɛ; the older rotated ᴈ is now deprecated. Lower-case Ƌ is close to a reversed Cyrillic capital Б. Reversed k ɡ ŋ (𝼃 𝼁 𝼇) were added to the extIPA in 2015 and are scheduled for Unicode support in 2021.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ⟨ꟺ⟩ displays a number of ways in different typefaces, but officially[citation needed] it is a turned small capital M.
  2. ^ ⟨ꟽ⟩ is actually an inverted M.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howes, Justin (2000). "Caslon's punches and matrices". Matrix. 20: 1–7.
  2. ^ a b Geoffrey K Pullum; William A Ladusaw. Phonetic symbol guide. doi:10.1017/S0008413100017230. ISBN 9780226685366. S2CID 149152125.[page needed]