Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The orthography of emphasis

After the recent post on gesture and language, and particularly the point that gesture often serves to accentuate language, this "News in Brief" piece from today's Onion seems oddly relevant (doesn't seem to be up on their website yet):
Extra-Slanty Italics Introduced For Extremely Important Words
New Hope, MN — In an attempt to address writers' ever-growing word-emphasis needs, Minnesota-based Pica Foundry has developed a new, extra-slanty font, design director Jordan Soderblum announced Monday. "When writing important words, authors too often bypass regular italics in favor of all capital letters, which not only look awkward but also disrupt the flow of the text," said Soderblum. …
Of course, this is playing off of an old and familiar problem: Lots of scholarly editors and copy editors use small caps for emphasis (but that's a little messier on a blog, at least with blogger.com, since you have to code the html yourself), while the norm informally seems to be caps or bolding. This almost has the feel of an inside joke ... they do publish a magazine, after all.

By the way, best horoscope of the week:
Aries
Your drinking is beginning to drive your friends and loved ones away from you, making you wish you'd thought of it much earlier.
These guys are brutal.

3 comments:

Brett said...

I'm amused. Those extra-slanty itals remind me of the Spinal Tap amplifier.

Mr. Verb said...

Yup, 11 just IS better.

Monica said...

But can anyone explain why the Onion's horoscopes have gone so totally downhill in the last - I dunno - 6 months or so? Used to be the best feature in the rag but now I don't even bother half the time.