Single Spacing: Brain vs body

Subject: Single Spacing: Brain vs body
From: "Wright, Lynne" <lwright -at- positron911 -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 12:34:21 -0400

But the body IS controlled by the mind, and how we read is determined, in
part, by how we were trained to read: for example, Westerners read from left
to right; Chinese read from top to bottom.

So if your eyes have been trained to read following a certain pattern, using
trained responses to various types of punctuation, indents, etc., then...
well my point is that typography and layout can... and SHOULD, have some
influence on "controlling the reader's eye" and readability.

Are you saying that its "silly trickery" to bold something that is
important? ... for instance its just nonsense to make a warning on a bottle
of drugs immediately noticeable?

In my opinion, writers who don't understand the value of typography and
design are the amateurs, because when you know what you're doing, small
things can make a big difference... whether or not the reader is consciously
aware of them.

In fact, most people won't recognize when something is designed well... but
they'll sure as heck notice when something is designed BADLY.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Chinell
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 12:24 PM
Subject: RE: Single Spacing, Double Spacing, and Doing It Ones Own Way


I've said before, and I'll repeat it here, that people read
with their bodies, not with their minds. By that I mean that
the process of reading is more dominated by one's physiology
than by one's thought processes. That's why I pay close
attention to studies on eye movement, especially when they
are combined with measurements of comprehension.

This is a long-winded way of leading up to ...

Does it bug anyone else that "amateurs" want to use
typographical and linguistic tricks to guide the reading
process as if the conscious mind was controlling the
reader's eyes?


Lynne Wright
Technical Communications
Positron Inc.
5101 Buchan St. H4P 2R9
(514) 345-2200
fax: 345-2272


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