Fun_People Archive
28 Aug
Style, not content

Date: Sun, 28 Aug 94 21:16:27 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: Style, not content

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: (Josh Osborne)

It's a shame the original author's name was not retained...

Date: Wed, 24 Aug 1994 12:28:10 -0400
Subject: Style, not content...

I have a great idea for something to waste space in
this newsgroup.  We could try writing some messages
that are naturally right-justified.  Also, if we do
something as silly as that, we could also try posts
that are self-referential like this one.  You might
think that writing self-referential right-justified
posts would be difficult, but I am writing this one
with very little effort.  The trick is to just make
sure that you keep an eye on how many spaces remain
at the end of each line as you approach it.  If you
think your current line of thought will go past the
end, then try to rephrase the sentence to make sure
that it ends at the exact point you want it to.  It
really isn't very difficult.  Soon you will start a
habit of making all of your documents perfectly fit
within a given margin.  One problem is that you may
be unable to rephrase the sentence so that it stays
within the right margin.  If that happens, you must
remove the sentence and come up with another one to
put in its place.  After all, the format is usually
more important than the content of a message.  This
is obviously true with this message, because it has
almost no content, but the style is so amazing that
it forces you to read through this message ignoring
the fact that it says next to nothing.  Now, I will
do something different.  I will start to shrink the
right margin by one so that it starts to head back
towards the beginning of the line.  See, there is
so much that you can do with the style of a post
without worrying about the content.  I actually
have no more ideas to put in this stupid post,
but I must keep typing until I finally get to
the left side of the screen and end with one
letter.  I still have a long way to go, but
I'm starting to get the hang of not paying
attention to content and concentrating on
the shape of the text.  My words seem to
just flow out into this beautiful empty
article.  I try to make sure that I do
not make typos or errors with grammar
because they might make it look like
I am cheating.  Well, it is getting
close to the left side.  Less than
forty more lines to go and I will
be done with this message.  This
is starting to get very boring,
but it is still not very tough
to do.  I think that it might
get more difficult once I am
closer to the end.  Well, I
guess I will find out in a
short time, since the end
is approaching.  It does
seem to be getting more
difficult, requiring a
more complete look at
the line.  I seem to
be using words that
are smaller.  This
might not be easy
now.  It is much
more common for
me to delete a
sentence.  It
is almost at
the end.  I
can see it
is almost
the end.
Dumb is
what I

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []