My type of fun

28Jul09
I’ve been out of town for a few days, so I’ve spent my evening slogging through the 100 or so emails that are clogging my in-box.
While I catch up on the offers to enlarge my mortgage, here’s a recycled selection from my “humor” folder. I obviously wrote this when I had way more free time. Enjoy.

COMMON TYPOGRAPHIC DISEASES
Various forms of dysfunction appear among populations exposed to typography for long periods of time. Listed here are a number of the more common afflictions.*

TYPOID FEVER—A virulent, contagious form of typophilia (see below); often results when designers recklessly share their fonts with friends. Quarantine is essential to control the spread of this disease.

TYPOCAPNIA—The reduction of blood flow to the brain that results from using too many ornamental typefaces. Symptoms include blurred vision and confusion.

TYPOCHONDRIA—A persistent anxiety that one has selected the wrong typeface. This condition is often paired with OKD (optical kerning disorder), the need to constantly adjust and readjust the spaces between letters.

TYPOGLYCEMIA—A metabolic disorder marked by irritability, tremors, and decreased mental alertness if new fonts are not consumed regularly. Severe cases may require the application of cold type compresses and extended sessions of manual kerning. (Caution: Overuse of cold type may induce typothermia; see below.)

TYPOPHILIA—An excessive attachment to and fascination with the shape of letters, often to the exclusion of other interests. Typophiliacs often die penniless and alone, but with huge font collections.

TYPOPHOBIA—The irrational dislike of letterforms, often marked by a preference for icons, dingbats, and—in fatal cases—bullets and daggers. The fears of the typophobe can often be eased (but are seldom cured) by steady doses of Helvetica and Times Roman.

TYPOTENSION—Abnormally elevated blood pressure, usually caused by incomplete character sets or otherwise deficient fonts. Afflicts primarily Type A designers.

TYPOTHALAMUS—A small gland in the brain that regulates typeface selection. May become inflamed during long, difficult projects, causing erratic type choices.

TYPOTHERMIA—Rarely seen in recent years, this condition is usually caused by long-term exposure to cold type. Early warning signs include numbness in the extremities, excessive drooling, and sudden, acute typophobia (see above).

* The introduction and the definitions of typochondria, typophilia, and typophobia were adapted from page 95 of Thinking with Type, by Ellen Lupton. The rest of the descriptions I just plain made up. Obviously, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, nor do they describe, promote, or recommend any investment strategy. Remember that it’s unwise to use more than, oh, 30 typefaces on a single page. It’s also unwise to assume that speeding motorists see you, or that your dog can digest two pounds of cheese. Always know what to kiss, and when. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth; ditto for its butt. For your pimples, use OXY 5. Finally, remember that even the smallest act of kindness may make a huge difference to someone else.



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