In defence of Comic Sans

Mateo Szlapek-Sewillo writes: Re. “Crikey says: SMH picked the wrong font to sum up NSW train wreck” (yesterday). I write as a loyal reader disappointed by your eagerness — and that of those other publications supposedly fighting for the underdog (*ahem*) — to pile on Comic Sans like another bully in the playground.

Since it was brought into the world, kicking and screaming in 1995 as the companion to Microsoft Bob, a universally panned desktop assistant, it’s been a hardscrabble life lived on the fringes. You see, Comic Sans everywhere because it’s a traveller, always wandering from place to place, scratching out a poor living on suburban restaurant menus and rec centre noticeboards before being cast aside just as soon as some sleek Euro font flashes its serifs.

It saddens me that such a reliable workhorse is treated so shabbily, as a byword for uncool, a joke as regrettable as 2000s Adam Sandler films. As Jessamyn West so ably puts it, there are times — perfectly respectable times — when Comic Sans is just the best tool for the job (unlike Mr Sandler) — where it really does make the poster for the local library’s book sale or the RSL quiz night pop like nothing else. I dream of the day when the New Yorker, if only for one issue, replaces its storied Irvin font with the runtish little kid who always gets picked last; Comic Sans. The hoots and howls of the in-crowd will die in their throats and it’ll be just about the sweetest against-all-odds story there ever was.

So turn your noses down and get on with your job of afflicting the comfortable. Besides, Papyrus is a target far more deserving of our contempt. (PS: Although nothing will dislodge McSweeney’s memorable account of the id of Comic Sans, that’s not the gentle, misunderstood font I know.)

A super ticking time bomb

Dean Ellis writes: Re. “End of the mining tax guarantees more tax for the poor” (yesterday). Daily as I watch the antics of this god forsaken federal government of ours, I’m left wondering: what’s next? Well, their announcement to defer an increase in compulsory employer-paid superannuation from 9% to 12% got me thinking. As a 59-years-and-18-days-old taxpayer, I talk with young people in their 20s and note they are generally very attuned to superannuation. They are interested in such things where it’s being paid in to, is it actually being paid on their behalf and in some cases the rate of return to their typically retail super scheme. The snake oil assurances of Hockey and Cormann won’t wash with the young who are being asked to forgo a benefit. I’m left wondering if this could be yet another ticking time bomb for the Abbott government at the next election.

Geoff Plante writes: As a long-term subscriber to Crikey, I support some of your comments. However I think you are on the wrong tram with super.

As I understand super, you can increase your contributions as you wish to a max amount I’m not sure of, depends on age I think. Super contributions are from your salary/wage. The compulsory contribution is your money from your salary/wage. Additional contributions are your choice. No one is being cheated.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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