Am I the Only One Who Hates Too Much Formatting?

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 12, 2014 | 23 Comments

novel thoughts

I have this personal pet peeve. It looks something like this:

Pretty cool, right? (Not that I would WANT to read most of these, and many of these I was forced to read in HS and either hated it *coughcough*CatcherintheRye*cough* or didn’t actually read it because I just couldn’t do it *coughcough*GrapesofWrath*cough*) And honestly, if the book is seriously boring, it would make that time double!

Looking at the times vs. pages some seem a little off. My pages per minute vary from 1 to 3, depending on the book. I don’t know if the actual word count or the word size plays a part in that or not. It’s sad that I could finish the first Harry Potter in 2 hours and I still haven’t read it….

Basically, if I had the time (and the attention span, ha) to dedicate even 3 hours per day to reading, I could knock out 250+ books a year. Wouldn’t that be something?!

(This excerpt was taken from my Staples Reading Speed Test post, in case you were wondering. And no, it didn’t originally look like that)

Hand in hand with that is using different colors for different sentences. *eye twitch* This is something that I see on a LOT of blogs and it seriously drives me crazy. It’s SO distracting! Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I just can’t wrap my brain around it, but the way the words pop out at me when formatted like that makes it difficult for me to focus on what I’m actually reading. I read italics and bold print differently than I read a regular sentence with no formatting. Therefore, my brain gets so distracted trying to read those parts differently that I can’t see the forest for the trees, if you get what I’m saying.

The only time I ever use italics is when I want to stress a word (or if it’s the name of a book). Originally, that sentence about HP said “It’s sad that I could finish the first HP in 2 hours and I still haven’t read it.” In fact, most of the time I would use caps to stress it instead of italics. Maybe I’m just not a fan of italics? I do use bold words on occasion, but only when I want those points to stand out in a long paragraph (for the people that are only skimming).

Is it just me? Am I crazy?

Jessi (Geo)

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23 responses to “Am I the Only One Who Hates Too Much Formatting?

  1. I don’t like posts like that either! My eyes jump to the formatted stuff first and then goes back to the regular type, and it just doesn’t make sense! I can’t read it straight through, since my brain assumes the bold and italics are the important bits, so it jumps to those first. But it’s not important, it’s just formatted! STOP!

  2. I hate seeing lots of formatting like this. I use italics for titles of books/films etc occasionally, and bold when I really want something emphasised, but a majority of the time there’s no formatting like this in my posts. It’s annoying to read, particularly when bloggers do it without any real purpose.

  3. I’m annoyed by it too. I rarely follow blogs if their posts are crazy like that, and if I like their blog so much that I read it anyway, I’m pretty much cringing every time I read their posts. I also don’t understand people who use colored font that’s impossible to read. Like, if you’re going to go crazy with the colors, at least make sure I can read it without highlighting over it (which is something I do far more often than you would think). Maybe it’s just me, but I have such a hard time with insanely bright colors in font. They make my eyes go crazy, and I can’t focus on it. Others must not feel the same way considering the amount of people I see doing it.

  4. I think formatting it very important. I think being able to “read” the post is the most important. It not only goes with formatting but also colors, widgets, etc. Sometimes blogs have too much going on and well, its distracting.

  5. At first I had a total brain fart and didn’t realize that those paragraphs were an EXAMPLE. I thought you were actually talking like that. It took me so long to get through it and I kept thinking, “Why the heck is she writing like this? It’s so hard to read..”


    So there you go.

  6. I agree – too much formatting makes me crazy. I do bold at times – like notes that there will be spoilers, key rules for a challenges, or dates. And I only ever italicize book titles (English major in me can’t not do it). I capitalize words I want to stress and that’s not often – I’m usually having a squee/rant moment. And the *imdoingsomething* astriks (idk what to call them) make it into 1 out of 50 posts at most. Its kinda like gifs for me, used sparingly and appropriately, they can be fun. Too much and I feel overwhelmed and frankly, I’m less likely to read it as a result.

  7. I usually only use italics for some headings like the “My Review:” part in a review post or bold for the title and author. That piece at the beginning of your post is so hard to read with all the italics and bolds randomly strown around. Although I follow one blog that does the different letter sizes really well and it complements the text instead of distracting from it. I think formatting can be done right, but it can also be done wrong and make the text harder to read.

  8. Not crazy! I didn’t even get past the first paragraph in that thing – it hurt my eyes way too much. I’m the same as you, actually; I prefer to use caps instead of italics. Mostly because I might be too lazy to turn on the italic button… But like you said – too much formatting just hurts. I think the stars are fine though, if they’re set in a new paragraph.

  9. With long reviews I like to put some bold sentences to highlight the important parts. I know a lot of people just scan reviews and like it, because it gives them the ability to see what’s it all about in once glance. I don’t really mind having SOME formatting, but the example you gave is crazy! Haha.

  10. I actually format my posts like this. Not because I need every emotion to stand out, but for example I highlight the Name of authors and books because for search engine purposes. When something is highlighted google knows that this is a main keyword and the post will be easier found when people e.g. search through google for reviews. Might be studpied for hobbyist but I work in the online marketing field and try out methods on my blog too (but not so obvious, that it’d sound all forced and artificial).
    Just formatting a text for the fun of it seems useless :/


    • Oh believe me, formatting is necessary sometimes, particularly for SEO. And book titles should be italicized. But there needs to be a limit. Like I said, some formatting is acceptable (and logical), and I do use it when I need certain things to stand out or be emphasized. Any more than that is just way too distracting. There’s no need for formatting 90% of a sentence just because.

  11. Yes! I try to keep my formatting to a minimum by using bold only for headings, italics only when I really want to emphasise something, and regular font for the rest. Another thing that bothers me is blogs that post in some wacky, neon font that’s impossible to read. I want to read your content, not go blind! Lovely post.

  12. If I am either extremely cross or extremely excited whilst writing a book review there is a very good chance that I will go crazy on the shouty caps, larger fonts and bolding everything. I can’t help it. I do it to emphasize my feelings because you can’t see my reaction. I don’t like italics so I don’t really use those. In a normal post I don’t do it. I can see how it might be annoying to read but as I only do it on occasional posts I think I’m okay with it.

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