I have written about my love affair with newspaper comics before. From my childhood I have read the comics pages in the newspapers and continue to do so in my local newspaper the Plain Dealer. I used to read every single comic in it but after some time I stopped reading some of them because they were not simply not funny (Marmaduke for example) or because I was not interested in the dramatic ones that had long storylines like Spiderman or Judge Parker.
Falling into the latter category is Mary Worth, a soap-opera strip in which the story progresses so slowly that one could skip entire weeks and still not miss anything. But recently my attention was drawn again to it because they seem to have a new illustrator and the title character has changed her looks. She looks younger, has slimmed down, and is more glamorous and less matronly. But what struck me was that some of the words spoken by the characters are bolded for no apparent reason.
Intrigued, I have been following the strip recently trying to figure out why certain words are bolded and have failed miserably to detect any pattern. Usually words are bolded because the speaker is supposed to be emphasizing or even yelling them. But this strip provides no discernible rationale that I can see. Take this week’s strips, starting from Tuesday’s one that I have reproduced below.
If you try to speak the words and add emphasis on the bolded ones, it sounds ridiculous.