Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Dyslexie: A modest font proposal
I showed the video to Sophia and she nodded, especially at the c/e confusion part and how the font changes the letters to make them less confusing.
And then she said, "that's why I like Comic Sans."
I had always thought she liked Comic Sans because of the word "Comic" in the title. Seriously. Or because it looked like handwriting, less formal. She ALWAYS types in Comic Sans. Always. And then I looked at it more closely. At the top is Comic Sans. Then Helvetica, and then Arial, both known for being easily readable and nice to look at. Even I can see how Comic Sans is easier. It doesn't march together vertically, for instance (I've learned that's a problem I have that not everyone has, like when I eat peaches and my mouth burns). It is more relaxed and, as she pointed out, the lowercase c looks nothing like the e or o. I and J are very different. The pbqd problem still looks like it could cause difficulties, but she says it's easier than other standard fonts. The letters "stay put".
I love that, when I showed her the video, she looked at it, looked at me, and then started in with her typical "but it's so OBVIOUS" tone when we talk about these things. OF COURSE Comic Sans is the font she uses because she can READ it. It was a moment of "Duh, Mom" when I realized that the lack of language required to talk about dyslexia creates a huge gulf between our understanding. It is like talking about "red" to someone who is blind. She can't articulate what she sees because I don't see it. And I can't explain how things are because the way things are is the way things are. I can't say it any plainer and she needs it more plain.
So Comic Sans it is. Or maybe I'll download Dyslexie when it is available and give it a try.