Jeff “Coding Horror” Atwood has many nice things to say about my blog and one not so nice thing. Thanks Jeff! Much appreciated. And thanks for the links. (Jeff did not link to my most popular post ever, but he’s probably not an eleven year old girl.)
A number of people have noted over the years that I am a big fan of purple and navy Lucida. Not only is my blog written in purple Lucida, but so are almost all my internal emails. I usually write my annual review in purple Lucida as well. Jeff plaintively asks “why?” and this deserves a response, however weak.
I went back through my archive and found that I started always writing in purple Lucida some time between May and October of 1999; I am unable to locate the exact email where it began. Emails before this time tend to be written in blue Arial. Now, that was a long time ago and was an intensely difficult time for me both personally and professionally, so my memory of that period is somewhat fuzzy. My suspicion though is that I got into one of those interminable and intractable email arguments about some arcane technical issue where people were marking up each other’s text with comments and criticisms and corrections, changing colours all over the place to mark out who was saying what. When too many people were all trying to use blue Arial, I suspect that I just said to heck with it and picked purple, a colour no one else was using.
I liked the way it looked, and I’ve stuck with it ever since. It makes it particularly easy to identify an email from me. As a guy who is known around here for writing a lot of emails (and you have to write a LOT of emails to be known for that at Microsoft!) it’s nice to be immediately recognizable. A number of other prolix Microsofties do the same thing; long-time colleague Michael Kaplan writes his internal emails in teal Comic Sans, which is certainly, uh, distinctive.
So, sorry Jeff, you’re stuck with it. Newer blog articles here use CSS to make the body text and coding samples purple and navy, respectively; older articles that were pasted in from Word have FONT tags all over the place but I have been gradually going through bit by bit and cleaning them up. If you read this in a newsreader, you’ll likely get whatever the default is in your newsreader. Or, there are a variety of browser configuration settings that you can use to make the purple go away.