superior numerals

Thierry Bouche
Wed, 8 Jul 1998 11:37:58 +0200 (MET DST)

 One of these days, I'd like to make some three-quarter-height lining
 numerals (that aren't superscripted), just to see how they compare to
 (hanging) text numerals. With a multiple master font, it should be quite
 possible to produce an optically correct set. Of course, then we'd need
 a Karl Berry code for them too.

it could be a nice solution for a simple enhancement to the current
use of lining tabular digits in maths formulas, as was pointed to me
by bill troop on comp.fonts years ago. 

Inside text, i think these digits simply fit in the (stupid) american
scheme according to which small caps are a `typographically correct'
way to insert all caps words in a running text without destroying too
much the color of the paragraph [this motto being a pure invention of
acronyms lovers]. This ignores that small caps are a third alphabet
that carries semantic (or meta-linguistic) meaning, not a typographic
variant of uppercase. This has to do with the question of
letterspacing or not small caps [fontinst puts letterspacing in all
its small caps fonts (by default) which is not always what you want]. 

 P.S. This talk really belongs on the tex-fonts mailing list since it is
 not fontinst specific.

i'm not even sure it's tex  specific;-)