Saturday, May 26, 2007


The renowned jurist's response to a recent question (posed in Slate to ten prominent writers):
I usually ..... But I cannot for the life of me remember why I chose that! I used to ..., which I like a lot. ... And I ..., which I also liked; but I no longer remember why I did that, either.
Alarming at first blush, indeed, but why anyone goes to the trouble of selecting a particular FONT (or typeface), much less has a reason for doing so, is beyond me.

Yes, that's what Slate asked, apparently to make a three-fer (an essay, documentary film and exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, all on the font Helvetica) into a four-fer. The writers all struggled to come up with un-boring answers to this dry question. The writer/producer of the TV show Sex and the City seemed to work the hardest to please (not surprisingly):
I talked to my therapist, and she said my love of Courier stems from my childhood. Back before I knew what deadline, hack, or rewrite meant. When the most fun I could imagine was a trip to my father's office, where I could be alone with the IBM electric typewriter. Another chance to tickety-tick-tick something that would make me laugh. And then show it to my mom and she'd laugh, too. So, I guess my loyalty to Courier is a way for me to maintain my bond with my mother. In other words, it's all her fault. That's what my therapist says, anyway.
While several others plausibly responded that they used the font that came with the machine they composed on, they pretty skipped the why part and fluffed their response up with a personal reminiscences. Posner, not surprisingly, answered the query fully and unsentimentally (in case you're interested, the ellipses in the quote above hid his choices of "Century Schoolbook," "Baskerville," "Garamond " and "Verdana").

So, clearly not Alzheimer's. Perhaps Asperger's?


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