Two or more letters joined together, and cast on the same shank, are in a printing office called Ligatures.
The ligatures now used are few in number, having been reduced to æ, ﬀ, ﬃ, , ﬁ , ﬂ, and œ ; within the last thirty years we had, in addition, , as also , , , , , , and , which are now discarded, in consequence of our confining ourselves entirely to the s. In the leaf of an old book, De vita & gestis Scanderbegi, now lying before me, there are the following additional ones, — as, at, cta, et, es, ius, is, ij, iu, ll, ns, ſt, ſs, ſp, ta, and us.
I do not think it was an improvement to change the shape of the , which, till the alteration, was really a ligature, being e and t joined together; the modern character has no meaning in it, neither the Roman & nor the Italic .
Earl Stanhope proposed to abolish the present ligatures, by making the f more upright without being kerned, so as to admit an i, an l, or another f after it, and to introduce other ligatures, or, as he termed them, 'logotypes,' that more frequently occur, viz. th, in, an, re, se, to, of, and on.