#279, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
I've written before about the enduring charm of the seven with a slash through it -- a marking now known, at least in these parts, as a snick (thanks, Ray Gunn) or a snig (if the slash appears particularly sloppy, insouciant, or just plain cheeky: thanks, Jackie) -- but the 7 that thinks it's a Z is a new one on me altogether. This one first jumped out at me during a snowstorm, when all sorts of everyday, usually unnoticed aspects of my neighborhood suddenly appear. A cursory inspection of the 7 showed that the anomaly at the bottom is most definitely not snow. So what's up with that? This anarchic little number, while puzzling, does please me. But let's hope it's a one-off and not some kind of weird typographic trend. Once numerals start thinking they're letters, it's going to be unholy havoc getting any math done.
And speaking of the weird squiggles and symbols that afflict our common alphabet, do check out the perennially pleasing Paul Muldoon's ode to the symbol @, posted over at Design Observer. (Any takers on how to pronounce "@"?) I would gladly listen to Paul Muldoon read to me the alphabet, and the mind boggles to imagine what linguistic gymnastics he could get up to if he ever takes on the mighty ampersand. Fun & games.