[eDebate] 5 point font

Eric Morris ermocito
Thu May 14 13:25:03 CDT 2009

As a judge, I'm fine with having read parts smaller as long as I can still
read them. I flow in 6 point anyway, so that's fine even for the parts you
read. I consider 5 readable while 4 is pushing it (but probably ok when
there are paragraphs between), and better than (a) having cards that run 4
pages and create confusion or (b) making a long card into several shorter
ones to make the ellipse more legitimate.

I've also dealt with a lot of cards that were hard to read for other reasons
- unethically bad copying, copies printed from unethical microfiche (less
common now), over use of unethical highlighters, unethical printers than
make highlighting appear too dark, etc. I generally just roll with the
punches, and say something if it gives me problems.

If it's really unethical to use small font, is disregarding a card is the
appropriate penalty? It's not the penalty we typically use for other ethical

I think ethical expectations stem from community norms so widely accepted
that they are easily accessible to those first entering the community. But,
I'm late on reading the latest issue of "Judging Cabal", so perhaps this has
been declared an ethical norm.

My point really is just that opinions vary about the details. Perhaps a
great benefit of Whitman's "paperless" approach is that you can just
increase the size with a keystroke instead of having to go back and re-print
years worth of backfiles as the standards for font size and style evolve....

I suspect some of the variance can be explained by attitude toward computer
technology and/or nostalgia for tape & scissors. That said, I've seen actual
printed material with a font smaller than 8. Perhaps we should thank the
digital age for finally making it ethical to quote such sources!


p.s. What's the topic area?
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