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Badges? We Ain’t Got No Badges   Ordinary Essay   Rosemary Dunn Dalton: Introduction   WWJD?   The Case of the Missing Parenthesis   When in Rome

Get back to where you once belonged. Reading is fundamental. Go forward. Move ahead.

When in Rome

by Melissa Lórien Michaels

“What you think, this is freakin’ ancient Rome?” asked Char.

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little interpunct every so often,” retorted Comma. “Best way to preserve interword separation.”

“Ever hearda the spacebar?” Char joked. “B’sides, you sound like a bigot. ‘Interword separation.’”

“The Brits call this the space dot,” Comma inserted another middle dot into his Penumbra Serifed title. “And separation is not the same as segregation, Ms. Overly Defensive—”

“Hey·hey·hey, watchit, WASP·boy.”

“Look, I’m just trying to design this perishing dust jacket, right?”

“You knows what Tschich’d say ’bout that.”

“It’s one of my sigs, innit?” Comma recited: “‘Book jackets belong in the waste paper basket, like empty cigarette packages.’”

“I knew I read that somewheres.”

“False alarm, everyone,” sighed Cogling as he walked in, tossing his hat onto the desk. “DM had already found it by the time I got there.”

“Where was it this time?” Comma asked, eyes still fixed on the cinema display.

“Oh you know, the usual. Just a few dozen lines into the manuscript. He always seems to lose one early on and spends the rest of the lines looking for it.”

“Someone putta leash on those precious parens for him, will ya?” Char said.

“And lose half our business?” Cogling smiled. “Nah, best let Alzheimer’s take its course.”

“Not wit’ me, boy,” said Char. “A crossword puzzle a day’ll keep the mental ward away.”

;ldquo;I dunno. Sometimes dementia seems like a lark,” joked Comma, adding an embossed effect to the title. “Reliving your childhood over and over again. Like a bloody fountain of youth or whatnot.”

“Don’t be foolin’ ’bout it, eejit,” Char said. “My granddaddy’s in diapers and sings ‘My Good Lord Done Been Here’ all day.”

“See what I mean?” said Comma.

“You gots the sensitivity of a cracked-out KKKer.”

“Ouch,” grimaced Cogling. “I’m stayin’ out of the ring here.”

“Comma’s just ticked ’cuz Thorow gots him on dust jacket duty.”

“You still freelancing for Typotrio?” asked Cogling. “We got cases to crack, here.”

“Where? Innyhoo, it’s not enough to pay for that monospaced collection I’ve been gaggin’ for,” said Comma.

“So it’s been a little slow since Grandma Grammarian popped onto the scene. Don’t worry. I’ve got a strategy in the works,” explained Cogling. “And since when has TT been doing book design, anyway?”

“Since Thorow figured out another market to corner,” shot Comma.

“‘Capitalist,’” Char mimicked from Life Is Sweet. “Whatchyou need monospaces for, anyway?” Char asked.

“Well, technically it’s for Semi. She’s got a whole slew of code to format, and TextMate insists on nonproportionals.”

“How primitive,” gasped Cogling.

“Most proggers aren’t such proper aesthetes when it comes to typography. They’re more focused on the elegance of the code itself,” said Comma.

“What’s Semi using these days?” Cogling asked.

“Oh, she’s over all that lang-hopping now. She finally found the holy grail, the silver bullet, the bloomin’ panacea of languages,” Comma expounded.

“What, fourteen freakin’ years, and you’re seriously tellin’ me she’s settled down?” Char asked, jaw half-dropped.

“I know. I’m as gobstruck as you. But it’s been a good six, maybe eight, months now, and she’s still blitherin’ balmy over it.”

“Not that I know enough to care, but what the hell is it?” Cogling interjected.

“Dex’d lurve it ’cuz it’s an offspring of Lisp. All those chuffing parentheses and all,” joked Comma.

“And, and?” Cogling prodded.

“Who’dda thunk we’d be so psyched ’bout the name of a programming language?” Char remarked.

“If you saw what Semi’s been hacking widdit, you’d be even more batty about it,” he paused. “So you two really want to know the name?” Comma taunted.

“Aaaaaargghh!” Char and Cogling screamed.

“Okay. It’s right boring, really.”


“newLISP,” Comma said, as he created a new Indie doc. “Or, when in Rome,” he typed, “new·LISP.”

Emor Ni Nehw

Get back to where you once belonged. Reading is fundamental. Go forward. Move ahead.
Badges? We Ain’t Got No Badges   Ordinary Essay   Rosemary Dunn Dalton: Introduction   WWJD?   The Case of the Missing Parenthesis   When in Rome

Welcome! Listen Look Watch Read Code Get Give

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