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Crossed 7s

September 17, 2013

The other day I went on the website of Working Partners Ltd (Working Partners are a firm of editors who conceive, commission and edit children’s books, and I do a lot of work for them) and I observed that in their phone number they use a crossed seven. In print. Right there on the screen. I’d never seen this before. Some British people do cross their sevens, but only in writing.

In his book The King’s English, Kingsley Amis described the habit of crossing sevens as a ‘Continental affectation’. I agree, at least when British people do it. It is not an affectation in France, because everybody does it, and there’s actually some need for it there because in France people’s ones look like (uncrossed) sevens.

I don’t like it myself. I’ve never seen the point of producing a seven which looks unlike the printed version. But now we know the printed version can be crossed too. Is this a sign of things to come?

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