The text of a play, motion picture, videorecording, or television or radio program indicating the lines to be spoken by each character, with directions for staging the work (see this example, courtesy of the Lilly Library, Indiana University). Compare with acting edition and promptbook.
Also refers to a set of alphabetic, syllabic, or ideographic characters used in writing one or more languages (see Ancient Scripts of the World). In early majuscule scripts, the letters are of uniform height (uppercase). Majuscule is bilinear, its letterforms bounded by two horizontal lines. In the minuscule scripts adopted in the 8th century, the letters are of unequal height (lowercase), some having ascenders and descenders. Minuscule is quadralinear, bounded by four horizontal lines. As Michelle Brown notes in Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Getty Museum/British Library, 1994), the form and function of a medieval manuscript book determined the general appearance of the script (its aspect), the speed and care with which it was written (ductus), and the devices employed to conserve space (abbreviations, etc.).
Classified by time period, the scripts used in Europe were subject to far stricter conventions than personal handwriting because they were used for book production. With considerable overlap, the following succession of scripts occurred from Antiquity through the medieval period, ending with the advent of printing from movable type: square capitals, rustic capitals, uncial, half uncial, Insular majuscule, Carolingian minuscule, Anglo-Saxon minuscule, gothic, and humanistic. Less formal hands, written with greater speed and less lifting of the pen, are cursive. Bastard scripts, a fusion of formal and cursive, exhibit greater variability. In the early 15th century, efforts by the Italian humanists to reform medieval scripts inspired many early typefaces. Click here to learn more about the history of scripts and here to explore an online exhibition of paleography, courtesy of the Schøyen Collection (Oslo and London). See also: chancery script.
In printing, a typeface or font that has the appearance of continuously flowing handwriting or calligraphy.