OCD

OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Although my wife claims I display this in many ways, the only OCD trait I’m aware of is my desire to right-justify my lines of text. In fact, I choose words carefully (and edit them after the fact) to produce the least-ragged right margin that is possible.  I did this well before the arrival of word processors — I recall adjusting the hand-lettered text in my high-school underground newspaper to this effect.

I also hate it when a sentence ends with a single word at the beginning of a line.  I look for ways to add or subtract text so that a sentence ends at the end of the line or, barring that, so the sentence continues with three or four words into the next line.  It’s better that way.

These requirements were relatively easy to satisfy by hand or at the typewriter, but it is a bit harder to achieve this on the web, given that the reader can change his font size at will.  But I can’t control that.  If it looks good on my screen, then it goes out the door.

Maybe this stems from my childhood attempts to imitate Charles Schulz, drawing cartoons and fitting words into speech balloons.  In any case, I confess: I make function follow form.

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3 Responses to OCD

  1. Dorothy Johnson says:

    My dear Craig … I wouldn’t consider your description of text management as OCD … perhaps I would call it text asthetics. After all, some things just need a little help to be beautiful.

    (Please note: “beautiful” was intended to be left on its own at the beginning of the line!)

  2. Mimi says:

    The single word is an orphan or a widow; I don’t remember which is which.

    As for right justification, it makes your text harder to read. Newspapers can get away with it because they have really narrow columns.

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