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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Top 3 for the day

Top 3 for the day


40 Things You Didn’t Know Have Names

Posted: 12 Feb 2020 07:13 AM PST

Did you know that the “sleeping 8” symbol you know as the infinity symbol is a lemniscate? It isn’t an important piece of information, but to me it is interesting to know that mathematicians bother to give a name to these symbols.

And why wouldn’t they? Names are important – they save us a lot of time.

In this post you will find a list of things which we use dozens of words to describe because we don’t know what to call them. The pins and needles feeling in your leg that is falling asleep; the high-pitched ringing in your ears that you can’t get rid of; the go-to solution that fixes every known device malfunction out there: turn it off and turn it on again.

All these things have one-word names that are just not commonly used; you will find the names below alongside many other less-known names. Maybe after reading this post, you might want to put some of the words to good use, in place of whatchamacallit, that-that-that thing, and other extended fillers. Let us know of more of these names in the comments.

Obelus

The division sign, the one with the dots above and below a dash. In ancient times, the sign is used to mark passages that have issues and require a second look. It was not used to signify division until the 1600s.

Glabella

The glabella is the space between the eyebrows. A glabellar reflex is a primitive reflex found in patients with Parkinson’s disease. When repeatedly tapped on the forehead, they blink continuously. Normal people do not.

glabella
Uvula

It is the thing dangling at the back of the throat. Its purpose is to block off the pathway to your nose so that when you swallow something, you don’t choke. It also helps with your speech.

Rascette lines

The young people wrinkles across your wrist, rascette lines, are also known as bracelet lines, and are believed in palmistry to signify health and longevity.

rascette-lines
Purlicue

The area between your forefinger and your thumb you see when you flash the letter L; unofficial symbol of the Glee club.

purlicue
Hamburger button

The button to click or tap on to get access to the menu options. The three line navigational icon is named hamburger button because it looks like a hamburger: ☰ .

Braces

Sometimes known as curly braces { }

Brackets

Also named hard brackets or square brackets [ ]

Parentheses

Also known as round brackets ( ). Parentheses is the plural form of parenthesis.

Chevrons

Also called diamond brackets <>

Grawlix

The symbols used in comics, used in place of actual profanity. It was created by Mort Walker, creator of the Beetle Bailey comics.

grawlix
Ellipsis

The three dots that indicate a voice or statement trailing off…

ellipsis
Caret

Used by proofreaders to insert punctuation or missing letters, the caret, ^, is also used in mathematics to indicate exponentiation (or superscripts)

caret
Tittle

The dots over i and j are knowned as tittles. The phrase, “to dot your i’s and cross your t’s” means to be thorough. The phrase “to a T” is thought to be derived from the phrase “to a tittle”.

tittle
Interrobang

The interrobang, ?! < these two symbols combined into one, like so: ‽, was a popular punctuation mark in the 1960s. It was found in newspaper articles and magazines, and even on Remington typewriters. It later on faded into obscurity due to lack of use.

Zarf

The piece of cardboard that keeps your Starbucks coffee cup from burning your hand. Zarfs used to be made from metal, usually silver, copper, brass, and sometimes gold, and heavily decorated by motifs, engravings or even stones. It was used to carry coffee cups that have no handles.

zarf
Aglet

The metal tip at the end of your shoelaces that keeps the laces from fraying. The aglet is also the poster boy for lists like this, and is popularized in pop culture by the animated series Phineas and Ferb.

Petrichor

Smell of rain after a dry spell. The petrichor aroma comes from a combination of plant oils and chemical compounds in soil, which is released when there is moisture in the air.

petrichor
Tartle

A Scottish word to describe the hesitation caused from forgetting a person’s name

Akrasia

A lack of self-control or when you lack the willpower to follow through with something you’re supposed to do. It’s also used to describe a condition when you against your better judgment.

Pate

The top of a person’s head; the crown.

pate
Baluster

The sometimes intricately sculpted structure that serves as the structural support for hand rails on a staircase, doubling as architecture.

baluster
Tinnitus

The ringing sound you hear in your ears. Yes, the one you have no control over. An interesting note about it, people believe the sound is in E flat.

Vagitus

The crying or wailing of a newborn baby. It is a terrifying term, derived from an even scarier term vagitus uterinus, which is the crying of a fetus from inside the uterus.

Armscye

The armhole that hasn’t had the sleeve sewn on. The only reason you might know the meaning of this word is if you are a tailor or a seamstress.

Earworm

The song you cannot get out of your head. Unless you listen to another catchy song.

Oyster pail

The cheap, durable, easy to carry paperboard container your Chinese takeout comes in. The smart packaging design can actually be unfolded to form a plate, but with the use of chopsticks, it is easy to eat out of the pail, as is.

oyster-pail
Paresthesia

The pins and needles feeling you get when your leg falls asleep. There is a numbness and a wave of tingling (or ants crawling) sensation that lasts for under a minute.

Philtrum

The area between the bottom of your nose and the top of your lip

Collywobbles

A combo of the word colic and wobble, it’s that feeling you get in your stomach when you feel anxious or queasy.

Tragus

That piece of cartilage on the outer part of the ear that blocks the ear passage.

tragus
Mondegreen

Misheard lyrics which change the meaning of the song. Check out this video for some examples.

Scurryfunge

The hasty, last-minute, cleaning up of the house when guests are on their way over.

Nibling

Like how siblings refer to sister or brother, niblings refer to nephew or niece. It’s the gender neutral way to refer to children of your siblings.

Lunula

The white crescent near the base of your fingernail, the lunule is touted by some to be a health indicator for a range of health problems, from mineral deficiency to kidney problems.

lunula
Phloem bundles

The strings on a banana that come off when you peel a banana. Phloems in plants deliver nutrients to various parts of the plant.

Powercycling

The IT guy’s ultimate solution; turning it off then turning it on again.

Rowel

The part of a cowboy’s spur, which has sharp points and rotates.

rowel
Griffonage

Handwriting so aesthetically challenged, it’s almost impossible to read. A symptom found in people with medical degrees.

Autodidact

A person who is self-taught. Among some of the biggest names who are autodidacts are Leonardo da Vinci, The Wright Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, film-makers Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick.

The post 40 Things You Didn’t Know Have Names appeared first on Hongkiat.

Typograph 101: Serif vs. Sans-Serif

Posted: 12 Feb 2020 05:14 AM PST

At the stage of selecting fonts, a designer often asks himself, “to Serif or Sans-Serif”? Choosing the kind of typeface to use in a design is of utmost importance as it greatly affects readability, user experience and the overall aesthetics of the design.

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Although, no matter how much experience you have with typography, you can always get stuck in the serif vs. sans-serif dilemma. I personally think that a good way out of it is through understanding the very basics of serifs and sans-serifs, and this is just what this article aims to do.

Let’s take a look at the following write-up that highlights major differences between serif and sans-serif fonts for a better understanding of the two.

Where did serifs come from?

Serifs are small thin lines attached to the end of strokes in typefaces. They are believed to have originated from the Latin alphabet Romans used to etch their writings into stone.

Although there is no universally accepted origin to this decorative piece in typography, it is believed that the Romans used to paint letters with outlines onto the stone, so when the stone carvers followed the brush marks, which flared at ends, that resulted in the creation of serifs.

serif example

What about sans-serif?

Sans-serif, on the other hand, literally means "without serifs". Any font that is absent of these dangling strokes at the end of each corner, can be considered as a sans-serif font.

sans-serif example

Knowing this, how can the choice of going with serifs or sans-serif affect your design? Here are a few things to consider:

Readability

Readability is often measured as how easily a reader can digest the content. Of course, as vision is usually subjective, there are a lot of factors that come into play including the interest level or the reader, and how the content is arranged in the block or space that it has been given.

The "old school" method of presenting text uses serifs for a reason. Did you ever think why most newspapers use serif typefaces for their content? Because serifs are easier to read. These little decorative lines in each character guide your eyes fluidly as your move from line to line and join the letters together which makes reading longer texts less taxing for your eyes.

The spaces between letters (since you have to take the serifs into account when it comes to spacing) also gives more room for the reader to easily identify letters from each other.

Look at the example below and you would notice that the serif fonts create an easier reading experience to the eye because it creates gaps between the letters and the words. This makes moving your eye from one word to another easier.

readability

On the other hand, the serif font becomes more difficult to read using the same spacing. This is because the separation of each letter is smaller as you don’t have to put the serifs into account when spacing it.

Legibility

Legibility is the quality and clarity of lettering. This concerns fine details of the typeface and is essential because it helps the reader differentiate one character from another. This differs to readability because the latter is concerned mostly in approaching the content as a whole.

legibility

In the case of the image above, the lower case L and I for sans serif in Arial look pretty much alike. Imagine typing the word “Illinois”.

Here’s to emphasize my point.

legibility

However, it is important to note that if your typeface is illegible, it can never become readable. But there many cases of legible types that can appear unreadable because of how they are spaced or scaled relative to their design purpose.

Alex Poole wrote a well-explained article comparing serif and sans-serif fonts in an attempt to find out which was more legible.

According to him, there are five features to note when it comes to legibility:

  • Serif or Sans-serif
  • Point Size
  • X-Height
  • Counters
  • Ascenders and Descenders

Poole concluded, basing from arguments that support both sides, that there really was no difference in legibility when it comes to typeface selection. He also noted that there is a possibility that serifs or the lack of them can affect legibility but the difference is not even measurable.

However, he said that:

Greater difference in legibility can easily be found within members of the same type family than between a serif and a sans serif typeface. There are also other factors such as x-height, counter size, letter spacing and stroke width which are more significant for legibility than the presence or absence of serifs.

Scaling and Resolution

Text in web design isn’t static. It can differ from screen to screen and would need to be scalable. This is done so that the text would still be readable despite the screen size.

In this area, it is safe to say that sans-serif wins the battle as it is more flexible to scaling. Sans-serif fonts are much easier to provide emphasis and readability in smaller resolutions since they survive smearing due to the lack of detail in them.

scaling and resolution

Image source: TIME

Here is a prime example of how serif is used badly. Take a look at the bottom paragraph on the Time Magazine cover above and you’ll easily notice how relatively hard it is to read, as it does not flow easily especially with that small size. But notice how perfect the effect is as it transitioned to sans serif for “Jonathan Franzen”.

The same is true when a sans-serif font is blown up. The scale of the typeface retains its general shape and makes it more recognizable. So, when it comes to scaling, sans-serifs tend to be easily adapted into better sizes because they adjust well to smearing in small sizes and tearing in bigger ones.

To serif, or sans-serif?

So, what is the answer to the question?

Well, we can say that it is an obvious tie. Choosing between sans-serif and serif fonts ultimately boils down to your purpose of using the text. If the text you are styling supposed to stay on almost the same size? Then you would want better readability which makes serif a better choice.

On the other hand, if you want to make the text part of a responsive website, then choosing a sans-serif font might be wiser since you don’t want your text to appear too small to read.

gq magazine

Image source: GQ

Take a look at these GQ magazine covers that use both serif and sans serif fonts. The general consensus is that serif fonts are used on formal and printed materials, while sans serif is mostly used on the web. But in this case, both were used, and if you will notice it’s always the name of the cover model that is in serif, thus emphasizing it.

Some final words

Just remember that consistency is the key. Your choice of font needs to go with the overall aesthetics of the design you are creating. You can mix and match typefaces that are similar, dabble with resizing them in order to figure out which works. However, remember that you are doing this so that the user would understand the message and your design looks aesthetic as well.

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The post Typograph 101: Serif vs. Sans-Serif appeared first on Hongkiat.

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