Are some readers confused by italics?

Subject: Are some readers confused by italics?
From: rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 12:46:30 EDT

Andrew Lucchesi asked:

>Has anyone else ever encountered readers who were confused by italics,
>particularly readers whose native language does not use the Roman
>alphabet? Or, is there any evidence that such readers have no problems
>with italics?

My company supplies equipment (and the documentation) to both Japan and
China. We have no restriction on italics. I asked around, and about the
closest I could come to support for your rule was one writer saying "Well,
gee, if they're not native English speakers, the shape of the letters
-might- look strange..." But he didn't seem to feel that they'd be
unable to read it. One Asian customer of our, in particular, is -very-
likely to have complained if the italics caused a problem, and we've gotten
no such word from them.

Also of interest: I'd -swear- that at my previous employer there was no
such restriction on italics. Although I don't have any copies of a manual
from there that I could look at, I'm sure I'd remember a rule like that
if it existed. I'd bet good money that I used italics in the documentation
there. But then, you probably already know that, considering that I worked
in Beverly.... (BTW, please tell Ann Arnold I said "hi.")

Rick Lippincott
Boston Technology
Wakefield, MA
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com

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