150608_r26609-320

Go Ask Alice

From the tangled tale of mass literacy one can pluck a few specific objects—books that were to be found in every household where there was somebody who could read and people who wanted to listen. Aside from the Bible, a typical list would run like this: “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” “Robinson Crusoe,” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” to which were later added “The Pickwick Papers” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Notice that Alice…

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 3.41.26 PM
2

Clickbait Tactics Drive the Writing of Headlines on ABC News

I probably should not be surprised, but when I saw this run of several headlines on the ABC News website, I was struck by how deliberately uninformative they are. I added some useful information that could have been in the headline. A print journalist writes a headline for someone who’s already holding the newspaper, so giving away the actual news in the headline won’t lose a sale. But a link…

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 2.57.26 PM
13

College is not a commodity. Stop treating it like one.

If we are going to treat college as a commodity, and an expensive one at that, we should at least grasp the essence of its economic nature. Unlike a car, college requires the “buyer” to do most of the work to obtain its value. The value of a degree depends more on the student’s input than on the college’s curriculum. I know this because I have seen excellent students get…

CG8OypyVAAAlxD1.jpg-large
2

No results found for “officer on leave after video allegedly shows him pulling gun on unarmed teens”

What is the story behind this image? What is the source of that text? Why is that word “allegedly” doing in the headline? I searched Google for “officer on leave after video allegedly shows him pulling gun on unarmed teens” at 10:30am EST Tuesday and found nothing. A half hour later, I’m starting to find social media chatter about this phrasing — but no indication of the source of the text.…

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.15.36 AM
2

Hermann Zapf, the font designer behind Palatino and Zapf Dingbats, has died at 96

Hermann Zapf, the designer of fonts such as Palatino, Optima, Zapfino, Melior, Aldus, and the bizarre but much beloved Zapf Dingbats, has died at age 96.The revered German typographer and calligrapher passed away on June 4. In his long and prolific career, Zapf worked on many fonts, but his personal favorite was the humanist sans serif typeface Optima, the lettering chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. — Quartz