Re: Hollow Bullets - Your Thoughts

Subject: Re: Hollow Bullets - Your Thoughts
From: doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 13:23:40 -0700

On Wednesday 14 June 2006 07:28, Dave "Odd Questions" Dubin wrote:

> Another issue on which I would like your input is the use of hollow bullet
> symbols in curriculum documentation. What do you think about the use of
> hollow bullets and why?

My thoughts on hollow bullets are sort of like the old commercial for
Britannia jeans ("My home is Seattle, but I live in Britannia").

I like one particular hollow bullet (lower case o) and can tolerate just about
any well-proportioned/placed hollow bullet, but I never compose corporate
documentation with them. OK, almost never, certainly not even 1% of the
time, and ONLY in curriculum page design, where white space management can be
an important design element..

I have other stray thoughts on the subject which I'll try to tie to curriculum
design, since you asked.

I often compose informal left-aligned plain text with bullets thus:


I like hollow bullets because:

o I have always liked them.

o They work.

o They're always available.

o They don't require font fonding.

o They look delicious (think donut).

Seriously, I prefer the creativity and expressiveness of using plain old text
to improvise graphical elements . To me, that practice declares that the
author is striving to present a structured, interesting, and unpretentious

I have never heard anyone object to this sort of element in mundane email or
documentation--it is readily intelligible and appreciated, IMHO (H stands for
heretical, I guess).

Alas, you won't find it in official corporate communications, and probably not
in most curriculum documents, I would guess. I believe this is because of
some weak interpretation of ROI (Return on Investment) that apparently says
that since people bring Word Processor skills to the job, and need no
training to do this, they are providing a positive net contribution to the
company every time they do something in proportionally-spaced text that can't
be done or is not commonly done without a word processor.

So, I admire, prefer, and believe in the endless possibilities, for english
language communication, that come in a basic keyboard, bound to a fixed-width
font having 10 numerals and 52 alphabetic glyphs, plus sundry math and
business symbols and punctuation, without further embelishments.. But I
generally submerge that preference, and toe the universal corporate style
line instead, in which solid round bullets, straight off the toolbar, and the
occasional Wingding or simple 2D geometric solid bullet are pretty much de
rigeur for corporate documentation.

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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Hollow Bullets - Your Thoughts: From: Dubin, David

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