Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Color of Editing

Black Font, Times Roman, Century Gothic, 12-pt...or perhaps 11? So many choices and so little time. So many deadlines with so many unedited lines. Such is the life of a Editor. Why capital E? Because at this time, my Editorship deserves to be addressed formally. That's right, we editors are a race of professionals who are tortured by the misuse of correct punctuation, baffled by misspellings, and we are absolutely appalled at the disregard and/or dismissal of the mechanics of grammar. With all that being said, I saw for the first time, that editorial racism was a issue for me. Have I always harbored these feelings of color preference, or has years of having my nose almost touching the screen, correcting paper after paper finally gotten to me? I've concluded it's a little bit of both; nevertheless, it is with VERY mixed emotions that I announce to my writing community that I cannot edit as well on a white background as I can on a darker background. GASP! There, I finally admitted it... Could this be a step in the negative direction for me visually? My 20/20 vision has never failed me. Now, all of a sudden I go to edit a paper for a colleague and upon the second edit, I realized that I had missed ALL types of errors. Who would've thought that editing possessed a color? Furthermore, who would've thought I, one so quick to embrace diversity would discriminate against the typical white screen and black letters. Michael Jackson said it best: "It's Black or White; shouldn't be a fight" But for me, at this time--it's black! (LOL)


  1. Can you see this? Lol! I hope you can overcome this soon. I will be praying for you.

  2. Actually, you're exactly right. I work in a college writing center and spend a lot of time reading and studying something called Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that is a force behind a lot of research into optimal reading comprehension environments, and what they're finding is that "White or glossy paper should be avoided to reduce glare and blue paper should not be used. Black type on matte pastel or off-white paper is most favorable for both contrast and eye strain."

    In my writing center, we have colored film overlays that we lend to students to put over the pages of their texts and I've watched the change on their faces. I was skeptical at first, but it's really amazing stuff.