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Ode to the overuse of boldface font


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#1 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 06:23 PM

Dear all,


I have broken out of my norms, and written a poem.

Roses are read, violets are blue,
They're sometimes annoying, the things that we do;
Like saying 'Your welcome' when really it's 'you're',
Or typing a 'which' when a 'that' is called for;
Or putting in Caps Every Word That We Say,
As if it were holier, typed out that way.
But what has to stand as the king of the wrongs--
A tendency noticed, and seen for too long,
Is putting odd words, as we will and we want,
In utterly dreadful and trite boldface font.
It's as though if exclaiming in bold what we mean
Our real intentions will leap of the screen;
But they don't: it's a fable, a myth and a lore,
And so tacky bold becomes bold underscore.
'Now everybody will know that I'm wise,
But just to be sure, I can italicise.'
It's horrid, it's woeful, this dreadful display;
I wish that the boldface would just go away.
A phrase that needs bold just to say what it means
Is a phrase that is not worth its space on the screen;
And a thought needing this is a thought that's said wrong--
All the bold in the world will not make it strong.
Real emphasis comes from the words that we say;
O boldface, italics: go far, far away!
Take with you your brother, that dread underscore,
We'll all do much better to see you no more.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#2 Seda S.

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 06:36 PM

It is very nice
It is very wise
I'll try to follow
Your good advice.
And forgive me, please,
If I ever used
In my wretched posts
That disturbing means.

:) :)

Only do not say
That the smilies, too
Are disturbing you...

With love in the Lord,

S.

#3 Mary

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 06:36 PM

OOOOOOOHHH! I Totally Love It! Got more? =)

(Now I can add "annoyed Fr Matthew with my bold, underlined, Italicized, wrongly captialized words" to my confession list... :P)

Please Forgive me Fr Matthew.

I know I've bolded and underlined and italicized. I honestly didn't mean to annoy you. Can't you do away with them like you did the COLOR RED? or was it all colors?

But seriously, I really do like that poem. :)

Mary

#4 Mary

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 06:39 PM

I should've waited till I replied,
for I really like Seda's post too.
I'm poetically handicapped.
And as I found out,
men do not like smilies
as much as women do.
That was from my own personal experience,
I did not do a survey. :o

#5 Anthony

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 06:49 PM

Self-censored. Not sure I really want to show my lack of poetic talent on the internet. :)

#6 Rick H.

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 07:36 PM

On Volvo Drivers and Bow Tie Wearers



Roses are red and violets are blue,
if we were all made from the same cookie cutter,
then I'd be just like you!


But, OCD and all anxiety disorders put aside,
I ask you confidentially,
in you . . . may I confide?


Although at times we may find humor in ration,
my pet peeve I do wonder,
why would any choose a bow tie as their fashion?


Solid colored, striped, or polka-dotted,
all I can figure is he really wants to be spotted!


Or maybe it is the sign of a particular station,
or possibly shows a fondness for a kind of automation.


The questions are endless;
but the answers are few,
so for now, I bid you all a fond adieu.

________________________________________________



#7 Nina

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 08:22 PM

The first post of this thread rocks!!!

:) Sorry but I also had to take it out of my system since my conscience will not allow me to use those options again (unless I feel really, really smart one day and do not want you to miss my important words). To the joy of dear friend Mary :P who really loves that also I can't use red font any longer :D. Ewww this 'Big Grin' smiley makes my face look really ugly - can we get rid of this smiley also, please? 'Cause the teeth look either like 40 in number, or like skyscrapers in length. Also ppl here say green with envy. Since when is green equal to grin? And there is green Grinch who stole Christmas... Ok I have to go before I build a very strong case against the Big Grin.

#8 David Naess

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 09:16 PM

I ain't never made but one gramatical error in my life and I seen it when I done it and I taken it back!

#9 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 10:42 PM

:) :)

Only do not say
That the smilies, too
Are disturbing you...


And as I found out,
men do not like smilies
as much as women do.
That was from my own personal experience,
I did not do a survey. :o




That's an interesting observation, Mary. There may well be something to it. Personally, the whole 'smilie' phenomenon does, in fact, annoy me - so I fit your bill! But to each their own. However, since we're in the mood for 'poetic' expressions of pet-peeve posting formatting, here's one for the two of you:

The smilie, the smilie: a bracket and dots
In copyright yellow :) to stand for a thought;
They come with a frown :( and they come with a wink ;),
They come condescending :o, with tongues-out and pink :P.
They come wearing specs :cool:, bearing grins :D and confused :confused:;
They come looking mad :mad:, rolling eyes and bemused :rolleyes:.
They even say 'eek' :eek: at the end of the day;
The smilie, the smilie - it won't go away.
They come up in twos :):) or in threes time to time ;););),
They show up in combos, arrayed in a line :o:):rolleyes::cool::P.
Sometimes they crop up at the end of a thought: :rolleyes:,
Or :) sometimes ;) like :( spackle :o connecting :P the :D dots :mad:.
Leave us! Oh leave us, you cutsie-drawn dots:
Get back in your cage, or get back in your box
Or go back to wherever it is you came from!
(Is there a smilie to say that I'm done?)

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#10 Father David Moser

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 11:00 PM

My dear Deacon,

I am afraid that we can't do without our boldface, or our underline, or even our italic quite so easily in written communication. For when I ask you "Did you hear that?" without our friends you would know know whether I meant:
Did you hear that?
Did you hear that?
Did you hear that?
or
Did you hear that?

Since in fact you did not hear that or anything for that matter. Nor did you see the smile (or lack thereof) on my face. With written communication, I fear, that we must tolerate certain inconveniences for the sake of clarity and understanding (however, the man who made smilies must be found and shot as soon as possible before he invents something else even more annoying)


Fr David Moser

#11 Rick H.

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 11:11 PM

however, the man who made smilies must be found and shot as soon as possible before he invents something else even more annoying)



Even though I kind of like smilies myself, I'm always up for a good lynch mob--so count me in!

#12 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 11:49 PM

Alas, Fr David is of course quite right. But all things in moderation! (I almost used a smilie there. They're annoying, but compulsive...)

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#13 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 12:41 AM

And lest some didn't note the bit of tongue-in-cheek at the front of this thread: I've been known to use italics from time to time

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#14 Rick H.

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 12:49 AM

And lest some didn't note the bit of tongue-in-cheek at the front of this thread: I've been known to use italics from time to time

INXC, Dcn Matthew



Italics?? You are one wild and crazy guy! Today seemed to lend itself to tounge-in-cheek writing for some reason. Possibly, it was the extra latte I consummed this afternoon (insert smiley of your choice, or not)?

#15 Michael Stickles

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 01:02 AM

Father David's correct; for the unadorned print
May leave others confused as to just what we meant.
Our three brothers of emphasis come to our aid
When a subtle (or unsubtle) point must be made.
Brothers underscore, boldface, italics: these three
Help us write so our readers can hear what they see.
But alas, while these friends are a quite useful band,
If not supervised closely they get out of hand
And assault our poor eyes with great visual noise
That no one (except maybe the writer) enjoys.
As some plants, in their place, are gay flowers indeed,
But in less suited places are bothersome weeds,
So each brother - italics, boldface, underscore -
Rightly used is a friend; wrongly, a dreadful boor.

Mike

#16 Nina

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 01:43 AM

Wow! Dcn Matthew has really the gift of poetry... and Seda... and Rick... and Mike! It is like the poetry club here.

What I wish I had right now was the gift to make my own smilies because these smilies are not the best smilies ever. Mary I do not like them so much either (because they should have a group with feminine smilies) but you and Paul kind of got me into the habit. :rolleyes::P

And David, I am better than you. I ----never---- (got to be inventive to emphasize my VIST = very important smart thoughts) made a grammatical error. :P Because I never found one.

I assume : :P = I am joking.

#17 Nina

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 02:00 AM

Question: I used the word axios in another thread just now and it has to be in italics according to what I have been taught. Is that ok?

#18 Olga

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 02:40 AM

It is a common literary convention when using a foreign word in English (one which has not become part of the English language, of course) to use italics for that word. So it is quite correct to use italics for axios, as this word has not become part of English (yet! ;))

...and I'm a lousy poet, so I won't even try....

#19 Olympiada

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 06:56 AM

Dear all,


I have broken out of my norms, and written a poem.

Roses are read, violets are blue,
They're sometimes annoying, the things that we do;
Like saying 'Your welcome' when really it's 'you're',
Or typing a 'which' when a 'that' is called for;
Or putting in Caps Every Word That We Say,
As if it were holier, typed out that way.
But what has to stand as the king of the wrongs--
A tendency noticed, and seen for too long,
Is putting odd words, as we will and we want,
In utterly dreadful and trite boldface font.
It's as though if exclaiming in bold what we mean
Our real intentions will leap of the screen;
But they don't: it's a fable, a myth and a lore,
And so tacky bold becomes bold underscore.
'Now everybody will know that I'm wise,
But just to be sure, I can italicise.'
It's horrid, it's woeful, this dreadful display;
I wish that the boldface would just go away.
A phrase that needs bold just to say what it means
Is a phrase that is not worth its space on the screen;
And a thought needing this is a thought that's said wrong--
All the bold in the world will not make it strong.
Real emphasis comes from the words that we say;
O boldface, italics: go far, far away!
Take with you your brother, that dread underscore,
We'll all do much better to see you no more.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

LOL! I love it! More!

#20 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 08:55 AM

Question: I used the word axios in another thread just now and it has to be in italics according to what I have been taught.


Dear Nina,

The normal pattern (in academic English, at least) is that foreign words transliterated into English from another alphabet are provided in italicised font without inverted commas - precisely as you've said. So one would normally see ousia, axios, etc. The same tends also to be the case for Latin, even though it's the same alphabet: hence persona and historia, and so forth. Modern foreign languages are normally not in italics, but are surrounded by inverted commas: hence 'esprit' and 'joie de vivre'.

Those are foreign language conventions. The main point with using boldface font for emphasis (or other formatting for the same reason - whether italics, underlining, etc.) is precisely as Mike has said: it has a valid and useful place, and there are the odd moments when it is needed; but it very easily gets out of control. Generally speaking, if there's more than just the occasional use of it in a given text, it tends to lose its effect altogether: a lot of boldfacing draws one away from the point, not to it.

Just some thoughts.

INXC, Dcn Matthew




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