TYPEFACES

 

Thomas Russell Wingate   

September 2009

April–May 2014   

 

 

 

                   1  

 

Sans serif typefaces are best for outdoor signs. (A serif is what distinguishes S from S.)

 

Arial seems to have conquered our screens. It is a creature of “look-say” reading instruction, which stresses guessing and memory and hinders comprehension. (Instruction by phonics is far more effective.)

 

Arial is meant for those who read in haste, for those who do not take reading seriously.

 

Arial is sloppiness on display to satisfy a trendy sensationalism.

 

                   Illinois                   Illinois

 

                   Illinois              Illinois

 

If you are writing to have your words understood, pondered, and remembered, be careful to employ the most befitting font.

 

Telephone books are in sans serif. Do you read those at leisure or in haste?

 

Law books, Bibles, and Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations are in typefaces similar to my favorite: Times New Roman.

 

                       The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

 

                   The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

 

Behold the difference between plastic and leather.

 

                   2

 

How closely have you been seeing punctuation¹?

 

          Style A:                “c”     ‘c’     n’t

 

          Style B:                "c"     'c'      n't

 

Wikipedia tells us that Style A is commonly called curly. You can see why.

 

We are also told that Style B is commonly called dumb. That is no term of respect or endearment.

 

This demonstrates abiding social realities to which a writer must be sensitive.² To use Style B is to announce to the discerning that you are oblivious to what the written culture esteems.

 

Style B is sans serif. You will not be taken seriously if you use it in anything more important than e-mails.

 

                   3

 

          Edsel            New Coke          Windows 8  

 

 

 

NOTES

 

 

1 See Bits of English 13 on website.

2 See Two Cultures and Attention Span on website.

 


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