Text Pixie: she’s alive!

May 14, 2011

Verb jamb, stile sheet, upper predicate and parting adjective...

Well, this seems like a good time to resuscitate the Text Pixel Pixie. I’ve been avoiding a discernable fluttering of little wings lately – and I mean more than just the moths! She has definitely been strretching and yawning.

There was the day my colleague, the internal communications manager, looked up at me from her desk, and said: “Transition. It’s not really a verb, is it?”

That was the same day another colleague wrote to her, asking her to put an item in the internal staff email telling people to stop misspelling “draught-proofing.”

That was, by chance, the very day I was already fulminating about language errors: “triple” not being a verb, and “to whit” instead of “to wit,” and verbs that don’t agree with their subjects. To wit, verbs in the singular, which agree with only the last noun in a list of things they’re supposed to apply to. To which they’re supposed to apply. Newspapers’ subeditors. Say no more.

Then there’s a thread someone started on Facebook, talking about the extent to which we should honour (or honor) US or British typographical practice, with double or single quote marks, and punctuation falling inside or outside (of) them. This thread is getting long and, in places, a little heated; people are confessing to years of frustration being stuck on the wrong side of the Atlantic, having to work to an annoying style guide – whichever way round.

I even gave a potted history of the noble antecedents of the American word “gotten.”

(You see I still, left to my own, use the double-quotes-punctuation-inside” form; I find it typographically neater. Though I kind of prefer the other one. So analys(z)e me.)

In the middle of all that, I wrote a snarky post about Comic Sans, which dramatically illustrated the ability of a typeface to interact with mood, even while being a relatively cheap shot.

I don’t really have time to maintain two blogs. That is why this one has lain dormant for so long. But the natural desire to have everything in its right place means I now resuscitate the fairy, and I’ll do something clever with LinkedIn or my website or something. It’ll all be fine.

So this brings me to the job description I just read. It’s a nice job and I’d have gone for it if the office in question weren’t relocating outside London. It’s a shame.  I think their ad takes this sadness a little too far, though, when it says: “Must be able to learn and perform multiple roles commiserate with working in a fast-growth small office setting.”

Bless! I am commiserating; I really am. And these people clearly do need me, but I can’t get to their office.

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One Response to “Text Pixie: she’s alive!”

  1. […] blog post – on Text Pixels! Yes, the fairy stirs in her sleep, she wakes, and I must blog about copywriting, PR and design. The recent Baroque posts on Comic Sans and copy-editing were signs of life. As it happens, it is […]

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