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On 8/7/2012 7:11 PM, Brian Barker wrote:
At 12:39 07/08/2012 -0700, Andrew Brager wrote:
Yet, it fails to answer my original question which is where do the words "register true" come from, and to extend and clarify the question - how did register true come to mean "aligning baselines"?

I think that bit's fairly easy. According to the dictionary, one sense of "register" as a noun is "a state of proper alignment" and as a verb "to adjust so as to be properly aligned" or "to be in proper alignment". And "true" similarly can mean as an adjective "accurately placed", and as an adverb "precisely" or "exactly". So "register true" can mean "align exactly" or "precise alignment". (There's nothing about baselines - but we're talking about vertical alignment, so what else could you align?)

Brian Barker

While I don't doubt your research (I essentially said the same thing in an example - to wit:

   /I'd be somewhat satisfied if I saw in a book somewhere that was
   describing the finer points of typesetting or some such, and it
   simply stated something to the effect of "when they used to set type
   on the presses built in the early 1900's, they would first align the
   baselines of all the typeface thingys, and then say to somebody 'it
   registers true, you may print it'". /)

The problem is you're guessing, as was I. If you said to me something like "I've been a typesetter for 45 years, and my daddy was a typesetter before me and before that my granddaddy before him and we always used to align baselines and we called it register true, I don't know why we just did"... well, that at least carry's some ring of authority. If you'd of added "Back in them days register meant 'align' and true meant 'precise', ok that closes the circle. Finis. In lieu of that, a book from a confirmed authority stating something similar would be preferable.

It's not that I'm unwilling to accept your explanation, I just would of preferred hearing it from an authoritative source, such that it's undeniable. At this point I'm willing to drop the matter, other than to say I still vote for a change in name from "register true" to "align baselines" simply because it's more clear - at least to me.

Thanks to everyone that participated in the discussion. I'll take a look at the links previously provided perhaps they'll give me the answers I'm seeking, but regardless I declare this thread dead & buried.


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