…or fonts. I read about this a couple years back, but ran into an article the other day, and since I mentioned a new font in the previous post, I think another post on the subject is appropriate. This font, or several fonts, is for dyslexics, people who have trouble with language, especially written language. Apparently something in the brain circuitry of many people gives them trouble distinguishing forms that are similar. They tend to change the order of characters, too. Do you ever accidentally reverse a pair of letters or numbers? Dyslexics do it all the time! Here’s a list I stole from an interesting article on the subject of good fonts for dyslexics.
- Good ascenders and descenders,
b, d, f, h, k, l, t, and all capitals; g, j, p, q, y.
- b and d; p and q distinguished, not mirror images.
- Different forms for capital I, lowercase l and digit 1.
- Rounded g as in handwriting. Most liked rounded a, although perhaps some felt that it may be confused with o.
- Letter-spacing, e.g. r, n together rn should not look like m,
(‘modern’ may scan as, or sound like, ‘modem’.)
Here are pictures of two free fonts. The article tells about several others.
And, of course, I have to end with the oldest dyslexic joke in the book:
Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic who was also an insomniac?
He used to lie awake nights wondering if there was a dog.
I’ll go to my room now…
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By now you have probably heard the joke about the dyslexic agnostic who was also an insomniac. He would lie awake nights wondering if there was a dog. Dyslexia is the tendency to rotate, mirror, swap and reverse letters and numerals. Once in a while you might write 96 instead of 69, for example. For some people this tendency to mix up letters can be so bad it interferes with their ability to decipher written text.
I recently ran into an article about a font designed to demphasize the symmetry of our letters to make them easier to distinguish. I don’t know if the font works as intended, but the concept is interesting.
Here’s a diagram of a couple letters to give you the idea. The Scientific American article goes into greater detail, and has more pictures. Go take a look.