Just Your Type

Type, design, writing and other funny stuff

Glass houses: if you’re going to call out grammar…

This screen shot came from our local TV station. Take it from me: if you’re giving advice about spelling and quality, maybe you should spring for a proofreader.

That said, I had to look up “counterfeit” to see whether it was spelled correctly. That word looks wrong even when it’s right. (It is. That’s not the problem here.) I have the same problem with “foreign.” No matter how many times I write it, I have to double-check the spelling.

And then there’s “fair.” I can’t spell it correctly on the first try even when I’m writing this paragraph about how I can’t spell it correctly on the first try. I know how to spell it, but my fingers insist on typing “fiar.” (And holy craziness! When I went to spell it wrong for you, my fingers spelled it “fair.” C’mon!

 

What words trip you up?

Previously on Just Your Type:

Font vs typeface: you’re all right

National Public Radio shared an interesting story about the redesigning of Helvetica. By far, Helvetica is used more often than any other face, so why redesign? Technical reasons, mostly to do with changing times. It's a great story, but not for here. Whew, what a...

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Is it ketchup or catsup?

Words matter. You want to get it right. So when it comes to ketchup versus catsup, which should you be using? Ketchup. See? See? I can get to the point. But I'm still going to ramble on about all the fun background bits. Like this, from our Department of Repetitive...

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Forward vs foreword

About one in twenty manuscripts we receive starts with a "Forward." That makes sense because at that point it's the only direction you can go in the book, unless you want to read the title page again. The problem is that it is wrong. Where are we going with this?...

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Underlines for emphasis? How about never.

When you want to say something big — no, big — no, REALLY BIG, BIGGER THAN BIG, THE BIGGEST OF THE BIGS — should you choose italics, ALL CAPS, or underlined text? First, consider none of those. Try letting the text speak for itself, rather than using formatting to...

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Should punctuation be included in italics?

  This problem came up in a book I was working on recently. The author italicized a lot of words, but didn't include any of his punctuation in the italicization. Put another way, his words were italic, but his punctuation was Roman. It left a lot of visual...

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300 dpi JPEG: No such thing?

Graphic Artist Person asked you to provide a 300-dpi JPEG of your headshot. "Fine, right away" you say. You open your image editor and resize your lovey face using its export options, like this… …and you email her the resulting JPEG image. The next morning she writes...

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Mean what you say

I'd love to think the Flat Earth Society has a great sense of humor. More likely, they have more interest in being provocative than in being correct. And they don't read their own posts much, or the one above might not have hung around as long as it did. Now, if you...

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Who's this guy?

"Mick" is Michael Campbell, a book designer, graphic artist and writer. His humor column, The Dumpster, closes every issue of Food & Spirits Magazine. Author of Are You Going To Eat That?, and the new 2017 book of seventy hilarious all new essays, Of Mice and Me.
A singer songwriter too. New CD My Turn Now is available now!