Canada Day in Canada.
Fourth of July in the US.
Well. If you have any interest at all in typography and/or the serif/sans serif debate, I strongly urge you to read this. It’s an article discussing whether serif fonts or san serif fonts are more legible. It’s fascinating and awesome. The fact that researchers have apparently fabricated results in order to support their preferred side of the argument is hilarious. Academic integrity meets its match when Times New Roman is thrown against Arial in a battle of which is more readable.
Actually, I read this article last night and subsequently had a dream about a Supreme Court case (Times v. Arial, of course) on which hinged the unity of the whole United States. Apparently sometime in the future, according to this dream, the US splits along the line of people who use serif fonts and people who use sans serif fonts. It was like the most historically significant Supreme Court case EVER, apparently. Possible NaNo idea. Hmm…
Anyway, happy birthday, United States! Love you, missed you!
Yes, I’m counting this as a science blog. You can’t stop me.
I also think the authors came up with these studies so that they could put bold and italic type in their title.
Putting Comic Sans to its first good use since…well…since it was invented, the authors of this study took it upon themselves to examine disfluency—the subjective experience of difficulty associated with cognitive operations—and its relation to the retention of learned material. Basing their hypotheses on previous research, they surmised that disfluency leads to deeper processing of information, thus leading to better retention.
They decided to test this hypothesis by altering fonts used in teaching settings. In their first experiment, the researchers developed scenarios in which participants were to learn facts about fictional aliens by reading and memorizing the facts as they were presented to them. In the disfluent condition, the material was presented in Comic Sans or in Bodoni, both at a smaller point than the Arial font used in the fluent condition. Participants were given 90 seconds to memorize the list of facts, distracted for 15 minutes with an unrelated task, then asked questions based on the facts they were told to memorize.
Participants in the disfluent condition successfully answered 86.5% of the time, a statistically higher percentage than those in the fluent condition, who only answered correctly 72.8% of the time. The authors point to the results as evidence for their theory and point out that the discrepancy between the conditions could be due to several issues, including higher frustration levels in those who had to read the more disfluent fonts (I know if I had to read something school-related in Comic Sans I would probably stab myself in the eyes).
The second study was done with actual high school students in real learning environments. Sections of classes with varying levels of difficulty were randomly assigned to a disfluent or control category. Similar to the first study, the disfluent category required the fonts of all the learning materials to be either Haettenschweiler (which is about as difficult to read as it is to spell…and it’s partially difficult to spell because you can’t read its name to spell it), Monotype Corsiva, or Comic Sans Italicized. The font in the fluent category was unaltered. No other changes were made to the learning environments, and teachers were blind as to what condition they were in.
The effects of the disfluency were analyzed via the results of the assessment tests for the classes—particularly, a short survey was administered to test the effects of disfluency on motivation and motivation factors. Students in the disfluent condition scored statistically significantly higher on the classroom assessments than those in the control condition, indicating that retention of material—regardless of the subject and actual difficulty level of the class—could be heightened by use of disfluent reading material.
So basically, both of the studies done by these guys indicate that even something so seemingly simple as the font by which material is presented can have an effect on how well individuals learn and retain the material.
Which is pretty insane, but pretty awesome nonetheless.
New goal: type my MA thesis using Wingdings.
Note to self: find Leibniz porn.
Due to several (two) conversations with several (two) people, I have decided to take several (twelve) fonts and analyze the personalities of the people who might use them!
Be aware: some of the fonts are a little hard to read. If you can’t read them, I would advise you to copy and paste them into Word and transform them into a font you can more easily read.
Also be aware: I am a dork.
Here we go!
After much deliberation, Maggie and I decided that this was the font of Millard Fillmore (but only if it were colored fuchsia). Why?
Because it reminded us of sex. The only problem with this font is the ‘s’, but that will not be a problem unless “Millard Fillmore had promiscuous sex in Mississippi (and now has syphilis).”
No one can use this except Millard Fillmore (and his spawn).
Ah, the good o’l serial killer font. If you use this you may very well feel the need to dress up as a clown and kill people in their bathtubs.
Like, OMG! This totally reminds me of, like, those girls who are always like talking and stuff? And, you know, they like aren’t very smart? And they’re like everywhere? I totally think they’d, like, use this font!!!!!!11
Eras Light ITC
Ah, the font God uses. So perfect in its lettering and so heavenly, no mortal can use it.
Possible side-effects of this font include incredible healing powers, the ability to walk on water, the ability to rise from the dead after a short period of time, and a strong affiliation with one’s Father.
And God said, “Let there be Eras Light!”
This font is probably the most inappropriately named font there is. I would never call this font “Juice,” and I’m sure that any other non-blind person would have to agree. It’s more “Stick Up My Ass ITC” than anything.
This person will appear to be a fun-loving individual, but the moment something goes wrong or a task to be completed is assigned, he’ll crush you beneath his foot and never crack a smile again. The best example of personality change in this person would be if Bill Cosby suddenly, in a nanosecond, became Hitler.
OCR A Extended
Gay marriage is wrong. Abortion is wrong. George W. Bush is a great president.
Avoid at all costs.
Perpetua Tilting MT Bold
This font compels one to use black and to speak in complete sentences. One feels they must use correct capitalization, though It does not matter when typing in this font. They may feel the urge to go to Wall Street.
This person will enjoy calling you “pardner” even if you’re their mortal enemy. They are most likely very bow-legged and are a bit too close to their horse. They will see something—–say, a pie–—and claim it is not big enough for the both of you.
On the bright side, they are very good with ropes.
Rockwell Extra Bold
Hell yeah! This guy’s a man! He eats steak! He doesn’t wear a shirt! He likes to crush cans against his forehead! He likes using the phrases “dude!” and “touchdown!” and “get me a beer, woman!”. This guy has way too much testosterone for his own good. He enjoys nachos, barbeques, and barbequed nachos.
Oh, and sex.
This is the type of person who is on the edge of using the “chiller” font. They probably press so hard when writing that they make impressions in the table/desk/steel plate beneath the paper. They’re the 34-year-olds who have worked at burger king their entire lives and are damn bitter about it.
When you are around this person, try not to use any phrase with the word “Whopper” in it.
Viner Hand ITC
This font shows the progress of the serial killer after they’ve been in prison for several decades and have been released back into society. Note the subtle hits of “Chiller” still breaking through the “nicer” lettering.
Watch the hell out for the person who uses this font.
Does this font make my words look fat?
Only people who weigh upwards of 300 pounds should use this, unless one wants to convey a physical appearance of inescapable fat rolls. I honestly can’t see this font leading to a positive result on a dating site:
Sexybabe69: Hay there sexi ;) !!!
Joe100: hold on]
Joe100: font chnge
Sexybabe69: hurry back k
Joe100: alright im back
[sexybabe69 logged off]
See what I mean? Fonts can mess with people. I urge you to take this list to heart, no matter how crappily thrown together it is.
Special thanks to: Aneel (Thursday’s victim) and Maggie (Friday’s victim).