Becky Says...

May 12, 2001

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Little Mysteries

Among other mysteries of life: why is it that when the power goes out around here it's so often after dark? I think there's a conspiracy between the power companies and the candle-makers and the flashlight people. We had a brief outage tonight, and all I could really think of during the time was that it could have happened earlier in the day.

Of course, like a good girl, I called the power company's automated line to report it. This time, an hour after the power was back on, the power company's computer called me back. It wanted to know if I had power yet, and when I pressed the number to indicate that I did, it thanked me and hung up. Althought it might seem a bit bizarre to get a followup call from a computer, it was somehow very nice.

Something I really don't understand: why would anyone want to send e-mail in tiny type? The size that makes phone book print look large is what I mean. Someone does that to me occasionally, and it makes me wonder if the writer thinks it's an attractive style. It isn't. Especially at higher screen resolution, which I use.

I came within a hair of using an even smaller font size to reply to the note, but decided two wrongs didn't make a right in e-mail, either. So hoping to teach by example, I used a normal-sized font. And to make things easier on myself, I copied the writer's note into a blank form and changed the font so I could read what it was I was answering.

There's a lot to be said for teaching by example. But sometimes the trick seems to be getting the learner to realize that an example is being given. In the case of the e-mail writer mentioned above, I think realization may be a long time coming.

Text © copyright 2000-2001 Becky