Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mathematics of Italics

One of me friends posted a status on his Facebook wall saying - "what do you get when you apply 'italics' to backslash ?" For a moment i thought he was kidding (he was actually....). I went out to seek the UN-explainable. So in the name of Euler's Identity here is the awe-inspiring discovery that was made.

The original text and the italicized text. Notice a change in angle of the backslash. (we knew this was gonna happen)

So now i was obsessed to find the angular difference between the two backslashes. To do that i overlapped a couple of lines over the backslash switching between the formatting. The green one is the italicized and red one is the normal. Black as usual represents the reference line at zero degrees.

Now all i need is a protractor to measure the angle. But unfortunately its not possible to find one in a place like this. Enter the power of imaging. Using some reference images of a protractor and a great online image editing program called Pixlr i got started. First capture the image via print screen and crop it to content. Create a new layer above the lines and paste into it the protractor image. Reduce layer opacity such that the lower layer is visible. Measure the angle just like old times !!

Angle of the normal backslash

Angle of the italicized backslash

With a few calculations the angular shift computes to approximately 10 degrees. So that's what you get for italicizing a backslash. Do all characters shift by the same angle ? Well i'll leave this one to be figured out by You !! Here is the Pixlr workspace at work...

Until next time...