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Jay Lake
Date: 2007-05-16 19:02
Subject: [links] Link salad, lite snack edition
Security: Public
Tags:cool, language, links, weird
Just a couple, really.

A fascinating article about alternative text layouts increasing reading comprehension

Man buys house; former owner's mummified body inside &mdash Talk about all the amenities... (Thanks to lillypond.)
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dinogrl: frosty the deadman
User: dinogrl
Date: 2007-05-17 07:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:frosty the deadman
Wow, textbooks would certainly go up in price, unless we switch to computers...yup...right.

And the house thingy, man, that is just damn sad. And creepy too.
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russ: watchmen
User: goulo
Date: 2007-05-17 09:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
One of my hobby horses is enjoying such sensible text layout in comics speech balloons and other graphic/text design contexts (and tinkering with it when I do such text layout), and being annoyed when often "standard" text layout (greedy algorithm: put as much text as possible on each line until the last line, which might be mostly empty, even when this causes needless hyphenation with words broken across lines) is followed instead. E.g.:

Here is some maybe hyphen-
ated text.
Here is some maybe
hyphenated text.

The second box seems more readable to me. Too many comics letterers just automatically push as much text as possible onto each line to the right edge of the balloon's speech area, leading to broken flow and top-heavy layout like the first box.
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User: goulo
Date: 2007-05-17 09:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hm, that reminds me of a related pet peeve: lame hyphenation by people who don't know how to break the word in appropriate places, so one sometimes sees nonsense like nons-ense or nonse-nse or nonsens-e etc instead of the One True non-sense.
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Josh English
User: joshenglish
Date: 2007-05-17 18:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The alternate text layout is cool, especially now that we seem to be shunning punctuation, but this would absolutely ruin my poetry.
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