I took a look at the FAQ on this page and it says absolutely nothing about installation errors, even though we're told not to ask questions about installation problems when posting comments. I use a Mac and quite a few TrueType font files produce these errors - you get a little warning message telling you that if you install this font it might make your computer crash, explode, destroy the world, run slower, etc., and asking you if you really want to install the font. Some of these errors are bogus (you can go ahead and tell it to install the font anyway and it'll work fine) but there are others that cause real problems, and I can't figure them out.
[I felt an urge to whine about this, and since there are no forums for discussing this sort of problem, and we're told if we try to discuss it on the existing forums our comments will be deleted, I thought I'd try it here instead. There, I feel better now. :) ]
I've been wanting to learn to create my own fonts for a long time — literally, years. I had trouble figuring out how to install and/or use FontForge (to this day, I'm not even sure whether the problem was with the installation, or whether it installed right but I just couldn't get it to work). I'm interested in any recommendations you may have for free or relatively inexpensive font design software (since my purpose is purely self-entertainment and I have no plans to try to sell any fonts, I don't want to spend too much on the software).
I don't like to post my name because I'm rather shy about revealing my RL identity; I don't want people to be able to find out anything I've ever said by googling me. I hope my beloved reader understands my feelings on this matter, even if you don't share them yourself. In other words, please don't flame me for not including my name, DOB, etc. (The only result you are liable to obtain by flaming me is that I'm liable to add you to my list of "annoying people on the 'net.")
Re my dafont,com login: "Y Neidr" is Welsh for "The Adder" or "The Snake," from the same Indo-European root which gave us the English "adder," from Anglo-Saxon (Old English) "næddre" (several Germanic languages have similar names for good old <i>Vipera berus</i>). Interestingly, the word "adder" is also used in common names (as opposed to scientific names) of other European and African vipers and occasionally other types of snakes, but AFAIK, no pitviper is known as an adder; the Latin-derived (or so it's thought — the etymology of the word "viper" is far from certain) "viper" (or "pitviper") is always used in the case of viper (such as the rattlesnake — Spanish: "víbora de cascabel," ), native to the Americas (all of which are pitvipers), and the pitvipers of Asia (plus one or two species (depending which expert you ask) range into Siberia, which is technically part of Europe, but practically speaking, pitvipers are native only to Asia and the Americas; all African vipers, and all European vipers except the one-or-two Siberian exception(s), are pitless vipers, or "true vipers").
On fontspace.com (another font site similar in purpose to dafont — and where a lot of the same people post) I go by Viperrific. I adore snakes; I have several of these beautiful and loveable reptiles as pets (some people object to the word "pets" in reference to venomous snakes, but I can't think of a better word to describe my fanged friends). I always make sure to do whatever I can to maximise their health and comfort. (I was shocked to learn that some people purchase a venomous snake without first ensuring that they have access to a veterinarian who will be able to take care of their pet. This is a major difficulty, as not many vets have the experience or expertise to care for venomous reptiles. I have one snake who is sufficiently venomous that a bite from her would be dangerous to a human; I take her to a vet who takes care of the venomous snakes at the nearest zoo, but that's still a significant drive from where I live. He doesn't know of any other vet who both lives closer to me and would be able to take care of her; neither does the vet who takes care of my other snakes, all of whom are harmless to humans — that is, none are venomous, and none are large enough to be dangerous (some snakes kept as pets, notably the Burmese and African rock pythons and occasionally even reticulated pythons (from SE Asia, the "retic" is the longest species of snake in the world...and the only one confirmed ever to have actually eaten a fully-grown human — but a number of people have been constricted to death by giant snakes, so don't assume it's 100% safe to keep a really big snake as a pet just 'cause s/he's not venomous and doesn't regard you as a potential food item).)
I support several organisations, like PARC (People for Amphibian & Reptile Conservation), whose purpose is to protect snakes and other reptiles and amphibians in the wild. I also try to contribute what I can to conservation efforts by educating people about snakes, especially venomous ones, in particular by correcting the prejudices and other irrational beliefs beliefs which are still shockingly widespread even among otherwise educated people. One thing most people are still unaware of is that in developed countries, the vast majority of snakebites are not accidental or (as doctors call them) legitimate (a legitimate snakebite is defined as one caused by somebody unintentionally stepping on or near, sitting on, etc., a snake that s/he didn't know was there), but instead are preventable, or illegitimate (due to the person trying to capture or kill the snake, or otherwise intentionally doing something that is virtually guaranteed to frighten the snake into biting in self-defence; snakes generally prefer to flee a predator [like humans] if they are able, biting only as a last resort, since they'd rather save their precious venom for animals (rodents, for example ) that they can actually eat). Because the majority of people who show up at the emergency department in developed countries (the USA, Australia, most (if not all) EU countries, etc.) with a snakebite is a young male (20s or early 30s), with a bite on the hand or lower arm (indicating an illegitimate bite; legitimate bites are almost occasionally on the foot or lower leg (or occasionally, the butt)), and with a significant blood alcohol level, there's a joke among emergency physicians and herpetologists that morbidity and mortality associated with snakebite are the result of an interaction involving venom, alcohol, and testosterone. If you encounter a venomous snake and your first thought is to kill it, remember that
(1) trying to kill a snake is one of the chief ways that people in developed countries get bitten, and
(2) it isn't the snake you can see that poses a real danger to you (since when people are bitten by a snake that they know is there, it's their own damned fault): it's the one you can't see.
Another thing to consider is that, in the rare case when snakes (especially vipers, the most common (and often, only) type of venomous snake in most developed countries [a notable exception is Australia, which has no native vipers, although the Aussie genus _Acanthophis_, commonly known as Death Adders (is it just me, or does that sound like something from Star Wars, Harry Potter, or various other SF/fantasy universes?) have a similar appearance and lifestyle, and are considered ecological counterparts, to vipers, a result of convergent evolution]) are attracted to areas where humans (the deadliest predators of all, from their POV) live, it may be because there are rodents there. Thus, if you find a rattlesnake, copperhead, adder, or other viper on your property, it may be a sign that you have a rodent problem. (Rattlesnakes, in particular, are surprisingly efficient at rodent control. In the area where I live, most of the native rattlers have been extirpated, and we've felt it in the form of increasing numbers of rodents, which destroy crops, damage property, and spread infectious microorganisms (including deadly ones like _Clostridium tetani_ & at least one of those notoriously nasty Hantaviruses).)
One of my interests (besides my love for and fascination with serpentdom), is languages/linguistics. Besides English (in which I like to think of myself as fluent), I know a bit of French and Spanish and have been trying to learn Welsh in my Copious Free Time (TM). When I first became interested in Welsh, I discovered that not many fonts are Welsh-friendly, since this would require the inclusion of some fairly obscure "special characters," w y with acute, grave, and circumflex accents and the diaeresis mark; ŵ, pronounced "oo" (as in English "food," IPA [uː]), is a common one. (W in Welsh is a full-blown vowel all by itself, and not only, in diphthongs, as it is in English (in such words as "crawl," "town," or "lewd"). Another language that interests me is Old English, also (if somewhat unfashionably) known as Anglo-Saxon: the language of Alfred the Great, Beowulf (though the original was , the version that has survived is an OE translation)
. How, one may ask, did I acquire this taste for obscure languages? The short answer: blame J.R.R. Tolkien. (I've been a fan since I first read _The Hobbit_ as a very young child — long before Peter Jackson became a household name.) Though he is best remembered as an author, Tolkien's actual career was as a professor in an eccentric field known as philology. This is a rather old-fashioned term — AFAIK it's not used much in modern academia in countries where English is the primary language, though it is still common in . The concept of philology included aspects of linguistics, classics, literary criticism, and history; it had to do with the development of languages over time and stuff like that. Tolkien was very into inventing his own languages, and he had the expertise to create convincing ConLangs. The Sindarin or "Grey Elvish" language has a lot of features borrowed from Welsh, while Quenya or "Elf-Latin" (Ancient Elvish/Classical Elvish/Aulde Elvish/etc. :) ) was inspired in part by Finnish, and Tolkien used Anglo-Saxon to represent the language of the Rohirrim (this seems to imply that it is meant to be related to the Common Tongue, represented by modern English). Another language that may have influenced Tolkien was Hebrew, which may have been. As in the main Elvish writing system, the Tengwar, ancient Hebrew writing (not sure about the modern language) uses diacritics for vowel sounds (which can make it very tricky to figure out what something is supposed to say); the ancient Greeks are believed to have invented vowels as independent letters). There are many excellent Tengwar fonts out there; although there have also been many attempts to make it Dan Smith's Tengwar keyboard mapping, which is explained in his excellent help files, located to his "tengwar fonts" page:
My personal favourite Tengwar font is the family called "Tengwar Annatar" (available on dafont at http://www.dafont.com/tengwar-annatar.font
), by Johan Winge (http://www.dafont.com/johan-winge.d757), which includes "regular," bold, italic, and bold-italic; the italic forms resemble "Sauron's handwriting" (-inscribing, whatever) used by the Dark Lord himself on the One Ring. The name Annatar (from Quenya, meaning "lord of gifts") was the psuedonym used by Sauron when he tried to manipulate the Elves into turning evil by pretending to be a nice guy. (When I was reading LotR and the Silmarillion for the first time, Shortly after finishing The Hobbit, Sauron was my favourite character (I know, I was a weird kid). I was disappointed that the book (even the notorious Appendix) didn't provide more info about what he was like personally, his relationships with his followers, when and why he decided to start calling himself "the Dark Lord," etc. When I finished reading LotR, I started _The Silmarillion_ in hope of finding out more about what Sauron had been like and what had motivated him in his earlier life (or existence, or whatever you're supposed to call it in the case of demigods like the Valar and Maiar). BTW, speaking of Sauron, the "au" in the first syllable is pronounced [ˈsaʊ] (vowel sound in "now" in standard British accent ("the Queen's English" <g>) or general American (i.e., not localised like Southern, Midwestern, New York, etc.) accent), not [ˈsɔr ɒn] (like o in "sore" — again, standard English or American accent).
You can also find Tengwar fonts on sites like dafont, as well as Latin-alphabet fonts that are designed to resemble the Tengwar, like "Tencele Latinwa" [Quenya, "Latin alphabet"], by Roland Kyrmse:
The best place to look for Tengwar and Tengwaresque fonts on dafont is the "Dingbats > Runes, Elvish" theme category:
Nancy Lorenz has made several fabulous fonts (you can find them at http://www.nancylorenz.com/lothlorien/fonts.html
, or on dafont at http://www.dafont.com/nancy-lorenz.d751
) that are based on the styles used in Peter Jackson's films for Bilbo's handwriting (in the Red Book of Westmarch, on the "Party Business Only" sign, etc.) and the signs & things in Hobbiton. As noted, they rock; from my perspective, their main flaw is that they don't all have all the weird & obscure characters of which I frequently make use, so if I want to use them I have to borrow some characters — letters with diacritics, brackets or parens, dashes, etc. — from another font, and face it, there's no other font out there that's quite like Nancy's Tolkien-film fonts. OTOH, some of them do have more complete charsets than others, even including some letters with diacritical marks (though admittedly, not the Wacky Welsh ones like that circumflex-w), so one can often borrow a character from one of her other fonts that has a similar look, so that it isn't too obvious that it's a different font).