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September 04, 2015


Line length/font size. In print publishing this ratio is strictly observed (I'm sure you're aware of this); if the font size is too small the eye has difficulty "turning" from one line to the next, although increasing the leading can help. I would have thought your line length was close to the maximum given the smallish font.

An invaluable reference (which is also, amazingly, a good read) is Editing And Design, written by Harold Evans, editor of The Sunday Times and later The Times. Later still head of Random House. He is the only person I know who can explain type usage objectively without resorting to vague terms like "look" and "feel".

However, subjectivity does also play a part. I have published several longish short stories on my blog, such that I've exceeded the maximum wordage for posts and have had to break the stories (three parts in one instance) to make them blogger-acceptable. My line length, dictated by a standard template, is much shorter than yours and I thought my ratio was OK. But Lucy, whose blog line length is similar to yours but who employs a larger font, admits to difficulties in following these long posts.

Thanks for your incidental mention of the Annunciation project. An aspect of this aroused my interest and led to my first serious attempt at what I take to be vers libre, recently posted. I got some encouraging comments.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.