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Jul 20 2012

But of course it had to be

I actually had to check out this story that Mississippi prohibits mentioning Richard Dawkins, just because, you know…Mississippi. I was relieved to confirm that it was satire. But I discovered something else bizarre.

The Mississippi state legislature web page is in Comic Sans.

34 comments

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  1. 1
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I hear the pages are dressed as clowns.

  2. 2
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Well, don’t leave us in suspense! Was it a joke.

    Because I’m not going to read a web page written by people who think comic sans is a good idea needlessly,

    (After the new Russian anti-gay laws, I’m not treating anything like that as satire or hyperbole until it’s confirmed).

  3. 3
    kylelacy

    Does this mean they hate LeBron James too? /endNBAjoke

  4. 4
    Worldtraveller

    My lead loves Comic Sans. It’s hard for me to read his reports and not automatically want to make in the voice of Goofy (the Disney character).

  5. 5
    Woof

    I think we just DDOSed mississippi.gov.

    Damn the luck!

  6. 6
    tmruwart

    Speaking of satire… someone sent this to me today:
    Dear Lord

    I know that I don’t talk to You that much,
    but this year You have taken away:
    my favorite visionary Steve Jobs,
    my favorite author Ray Bradbury,
    my favorite children’s author Maurice Sendak,
    my favorite American Bandstand guy Dick Clark,
    my favorite hairdresser Vidal Sassoon,
    my favorite musician Earl Scruggs,
    my favorite Monkee Davy Jones,
    my favorite 60 Minutes guy Mike Wallace,
    and my favorite singer Whitney Houston. I just wanted to let You know
    that my favorite radio announcer is Rush Limbaugh.

  7. 7
    kreativekaos

    [Excuse the naivete, but could someone enlighten me about PZ's negative obsession with the Comic Sans font?

    Is there some deep sociological or psychological pathology with those who happen to use the Comic Sans font??

    (Maybe the designer(s)of the font should discontinue its use. I mean,...shit,... it's only a fucking font.)]

  8. 8
    joeyanetsberger

    I thought maybe they had set their font family to cursive and comic sans was what was displaying since it’s a “cursive” type font. But nope,

    a.one:link, a.one:active, a.one:visited {color:#fffff0;}

    span.text1 {font-family:Comic Sans MS; font-size: 12pt; font-style: italic; color:#c0c0c0;}

    span.text2 {font-family:Comic Sans MS; font-size: 10pt; color: #fffff0;}

    span.text3 {font-family:Comic Sans MS; font-size: 8pt; color: #fffff0;}

    span.text4 {font-family:Comic Sans MS; font-size: 13pt; font-style: italic; color: #fffff0;}

    span.text5 {font-family:Comic Sans MS; font-size: 10pt; font-style: italic; color: #c0c0c0;}

    Bahahaha.

  9. 9
    Akira MacKenzie

    P.Z.

    I was relieved to confirm that it was satire.

    The scary thing is that I wouldn’t put it past them.

  10. 10
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    kreativekoas

    Comic sans is the ranch dressing of fonts.

  11. 11
    Cipher

    kreativekaos, it’s not only hideous but also incredibly overused. It’s not just PZ who hates it.

  12. 12
    Doug Hudson

    I think the site is pharyngulated, it won’t load for me.

    Which is kinda funny too, I guess the Mississippi state legislature doesn’t expect a lot of traffic to their web site.

  13. 13
    joeyanetsberger

    The link above goes to some frame type link to the actual site. Try this one:
    http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/

  14. 14
    Alverant

    I missed the part about it being satire at first. It wasn’t until someone point out Bauber wasn’t gov anymore and the author said, “My fake story has errors in it?!” did I start to wonder. It’s definitely a plausable story all things considered.

  15. 15
    joeschoeler

    kreativekaos: Comic Sans isn’t a bad font, exactly. The problem is that it’s misused.

    It was originally designed for an old Microsoft product, Microsoft Bob, for speach bubbles from a cartoon dog. The regular fonts looked too formal, so they designed a quirky font, Comic Sans. And since they had the font already, it was added to Windows for everyone to use.

    Turns out a lot of people liked it, and now you see cartoon dog speach everywhere, such as banners, websites, emails, even formal business letters. Places where you would not expect a ‘silly’ font to be used.

    Use of Comic Sans should be limited to places where cartoonish siliness is expected. It would be fine for a child’s birthday invitation. Maybe even for comics, though there are better comic fonts available.

  16. 16
    Cipher

    I think it’s ruined by misuse for all contexts now. I see it and I roll my eyes. If it were on a child’s invitation, I probably still would.

  17. 17
    robro

    joeyanetsberger — Thanks for the link. I couldn’t get to it.

    Geez, Comic Sans is almost the least of their worries. That main title is ghastly. It’s an image so I can only guess that it’s something like Zapf Chancery. Of course, it’s the white shadow that really sets it apart. I can barely look at it. I think I have a slight headache now.

    The deep olive drab field is an interesting choice. Reminds me of the military for some reason. It certainly makes the blue sky in the photo jump out in a peculiar way.

    Oh, well, Mississippi…setting the bar ever lower. Mississippi lawyers…lower still. Mississippi politicians…oh, boy, last turtle. I’m getting off.

    kreativekoas — Comic Sans was intended to be playful. Now it’s over used. It’s perceived as silly so it hardly seems appropriate for the website of a state legislature. They don’t have to be stuffy (read Times Roman), but Comic Sans seems an inept choice.

  18. 18
    cconti

    Comic-sans is the last resort of the uninspired and of those with little talent.

  19. 19
    mildlymagnificent

    Comic Sans has a rare virtue among fonts. It has both a round, open ‘apple’ style a *and* it has serifs to make lowercase l and capital I easily distinguishable.

    For those of us who write materials to support early readers/ spellers who are not progressing at the desired rate, it’s invaluable. If anyone can recommend something better which has both those attributes, go right ahead.

  20. 20
    kreativekaos

    Gotcha on all that concerning the font, guys. Thanks mucho.

  21. 21
    kreativekaos

    ( I have to say though, when comparing Comic Sans to some other more simplistic or basic fonts, many of which don’t really visually distinguish themselves very much from others, I can certainly see some casual playfulness in it. I dunno,.. I tend to think far too much is being read in a font.

    Methinks we’re taking one narrow opinion about,..a font(!),…a bit too seriously and reading far too much into it. Although I might be interested in hearing the opinion of a graphic artist or calligrapher about said font, in terms of it’s use, overuse, appropriate use, etc. [Yikes, did I say 'too seriously' after all that? Oooh, me bad!])

  22. 22
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Joe Schoeler:

    Turns out a lot of people liked it

    A lot of people have no clue how to use typography appropriately.

  23. 23
    sqlrob

    Comic Sans has a rare virtue among fonts. It has both a round, open ‘apple’ style a *and* it has serifs to make lowercase

    Wait, what? Sans is short for sans serifs.

  24. 24
    DemetriusOfPharos

    I’ll just leave this here…

  25. 25
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    joeschoeler

    It never made it into Bob. MS used it in some other apps later and it shipped with Win95.

    What’s weird is that I just do not see the supposed comic lettering influences in the font.

    Good news if you like it: Win8 ships with native bolds for the comic sans. Good luck, everybody else.

  26. 26
    New England Bob

    I just get a “Loading…” message.

    Their 80286 server must be overloaded

  27. 27
    myeck waters

    Yeah, the link just sat there for me at first, but I stripped it down to the domain and then followed links to get to the Legislature page.

  28. 28
    Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam

    mildlymagnificent @ 19,

    If you’re seriously looking for an easily-readable alternative to comic-sans, I suggest hunting for some dyslexia-friendly fonts (such as this one).

  29. 29
    KillJoy

    Rev @ #10
    I take offense at that! If properly made, ranch dressing is amazing. derailing the thread but:
    2 cups mayonaise
    1/2 cup (or til consitency is appropriate)butter milk
    chopped garlic to taste
    chopped, crisp bacon
    chopped fresh dill
    chile powder (just a dash)
    Salt and pepper
    Mix that lovely stuff together. THAT is some serious ranch dressing my friend!
    P.S. Im terrible at recipes. I cook very organically.

    KJ

  30. 30
    a3kr0n

    The Mississippi state legislature web page is in Comic Sans.

    Click
    Loading…loading…loading…
    Oh snap, it’s been Pharyngulated.

  31. 31
    redgreen

    I can’t believe how easily I fell for this satire.

    It really didn’t even occur to me that the story was untrue (I guess largely because I went on :cough: faith that PZ had vetted the story and that he himself was reporting it as fact).

    In my mind, I considered of the repercussions (it’s obviously illegal and will be overturned, it will create huge comedic coverage in mainstream media, etc). But it just seemed so plausible in our world of birthers, truthers, and islamophobes– albeit upon reflection its banning mention of “memes” and “DNA” should’ve been a giveaway.

    5-71-226. Anti-Youth Subversion Act.

    (a) (1) It is unlawful for any person eighteen years or older to refer to Richard Dawkins, memes, selfish genes, The Greatest Show on Earth, DNA, and any other publication penned by the person in question, as well as books, periodicals, and/or other media that are based in part on Dawkins’ work to a minor.

  32. 32
    mildlymagnificent

    Sans is short for sans serifs.

    Yeah. Absolutely mad – it has the clearest capital I you’ll find anywhere among the ‘teaching’ type fonts.

    dyslexia-friendly fonts (such as this one)

    That one’s *really* good for reading. At least for those who have the p/b or g/d style confusions. Not so wonderful for spelling and writing words – that style of lowercase ‘e’ is a bit tricky for some writing problems.

    Though, if we’re honest, most of the spelling and writing problems are really about auditory rather than visual processing. It’s one thing to sort out b-d-p-g visually. It’s another thing entirely if a child genuinely can’t work out which sound is first or last or middle in ‘cat’ or ‘send’.

  33. 33
    RFW

    @ #19 mildlymagnificent says (rearranged):

    If anyone can recommend something better [than Comic Sans] which has both a round, open ‘apple’ style a *and* serifs to make lowercase l and capital I easily distinguishable, go right ahead.

    The Sassoon family of fonts might do better than Comic Sans for your purpose. Rosemary Sassoon designed it specifically for early readers.

  34. 34
    mildlymagnificent

    Thanks for that one.

    Which reminds me I have to spend a few hours reassembling my previous font selections which went to the crashed computer graveyard along with some other support stuff. (At least all the real work was separately stored.)

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