FW: black box=death?

Subject: FW: black box=death?
From: Holly Turner <hturner -at- ISS -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 15:42:44 -0500

Ha ha! It means death in THIS country, and in Europe. You guys just aren't up on your symbology.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Margulis [SMTP:ampersandvirgule -at- worldnet -dot- att -dot- net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 1998 3:26 PM
To: Holly Turner
Subject: Re: black box=death?

A Heavy black box (generally 9 points and up) is traditionally used for
sympathy cards (by which I mean newspaper advertisments taken out to
express sympathy) in the US for certain and probably in all or most of
Europe, as well.

I've also seen the device used often by companies advertising the
passing of their founder, for example. And it has been used in satiric
contexts to lampoon the figurative death of a political idea, for

I think most middle-class people, at least of an age who grew up with
newspapers as their first source of information, would expect a heavy
black box on a page to be related to literal or figurative death in some

If you take it down a notch, though, say to 4 points, it is common to
use such a box to set off a warning notice. (This would be in the
context of a service or operator's manual, where notes, cautions, and
warnings constitute a hierarchy of severity, warnings being related to
the most dangerous actions or conditions, those liable to cause death or
serious injury.)

Whether this last use would be offensive in some cultures is something
I'm not qualified to comment on.

> Thanks,
> Holly Turner
> Technical Writer
> Internet Security Systems
> Atlanta, GA
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