Friday, 29 October 2010

When typography doesn’t help

Careful use of typography should eliminate ambiguity. But it falls down when faced with the mind-set or expectations of the reader. Take this example from the 1662 service for the ordination of priests in the Church of England.

What must have struck seventeenth-century readers as a very positive declaration (‘I think so’) strikes the modern reader as at best an equivocation, at worst absent-mindedness (‘I think so’).

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