Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Bold First Who

Makes newspapers easier to read
  [vote for,

Halfway through a long newspaper article, I get to a sentence that reads, "Smith believes that Smarty Jones has an excellent chance of winning the Triple Crown this year." By now, I don't remember who Smith is, and I have to search backwards through the article to find his or her first name.

Or, in the middle of skimming a long article, I read "The AGA commented Sunday that city schools have not been repainted in seven years". What the heck is the AGA? Now I have to go back and find where AGA was first mentioned and what it stands for.

Bummers, these are, when I'd like to skim through several articles in a row and hope to finish a whole section.

Newspapers deal in Who, What, When, and Where. Their goal is to deliver a lot of information quickly. So I propose that the first mention of any person, organization, date, or location be BOLD FACED, for easier reading.

Thank you.

phundug, Jun 03 2004

(?) Bold First Who http://www.ishi.org/products/m-who2.jpg
[normzone, Aug 08 2005]

Guess Who http://images.amazo...01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg
[normzone, Aug 08 2005]

Indexes for novels Indexes_20for_20novels
Another approach to this kind of problem [hippo, Sep 26 2012]


       good idea would also work in thick books, the sort that you read over months
engineer1, Jun 03 2004

       I agree with [engineer1], that this would be a great idea in books (think Lord of the Rings!).
Newspapers, dealing in current events, would assume some prior knowledge, and it might be the case that we should know who the "AGA" are (Artist's Guild of America?)
MikeOliver, Jun 03 2004

       Wow, great idea, <b>phundug</b> (+)   

       Edit: dang, forgot it doesn't work
ghillie, Jun 03 2004

       This is often done in writing a synopsis (although all caps is generally sufficient).
ldischler, Jun 03 2004

       This is a great idea. I think it would have more use in a book where there are more people and you take longer to read it (hence are more likely to forget). However in a book it would be pointless bolding the first mention of a name - how would you find it? It would need to be supplemented by an index which would list all the names along with the page numbers of their first-mentions. Note - please don't put the index at the end as I might read the book's ending by mistake while looking for it!
dobtabulous, Jun 03 2004

       This is done in many of the technical magazines I read, either with the use of parentheses, italics or both. Many novels have character extracts at the very beginning or very end of the book to assist with character recognition.   

       I agree it should be done more often, but it is done.
phoenix, Jun 03 2004

       It's an excellent name for an idea.   

       Re the character extracts: really? Aside from a few massive novels written by Russians, I ain't never seen this and I've read books that don't even have no pictures in them.
calum, Jun 03 2004

       Cliff, as <High School Student> What?! A character extract? Eureka! Hmm. I bet other kids in essay hell would read this.
dpsyplc, Jun 03 2004

       Too easily baked: On the front page of today's paper, a column entitled, "From the Editor's Spellchecker" that simply lists acronyms and proper names with their definition, page found, and column appearing.
dpsyplc, Jun 03 2004

       This is precisely what the Wall Street Journal does. Except, of course, since its focus is business, it's the first mention of any given company that's bolded.
DrCurry, Jun 03 2004

       perhaps each article should have a cast of characters listing near the top of the article.
macrumpton, Jun 03 2004

       Baked - in several celebrity gossip columns. They even stop bolding the names after the first use.
lawpoop, Jun 03 2004

       Hmm, NOT BAD. +
sartep, Jun 03 2004

       If, over the course of reading a few sentences, you forget who someone is... perhaps you need to work on improving your short term memory.
waugsqueke, Jun 04 2004

       The problem is it is not just a few sentences. I have seen long articles in The New Yorker where this type of reference will be made and you have to go back three pages to figure out who they are talking about. Often articles about politics and such will mention 10 or 15 or more people in them, adding to the problem. "Which one was Smith? Was he the prosecuting attorney, the guy from the ACLU, the rogue juror or that commentator from California?"   

       Bravo, I love this idea. +
krelnik, Jun 04 2004

       Just an excellent idea; simple, implementable without explanation and eliminating a real (though minor) problem. A shame that this one lost the croissant haul.
calum, Aug 08 2005

       What if the person mentioned is in fact, neurotic? Should we develop & adopt a <neurotic> font to complement the <bold>?
sophocles, Aug 09 2005

       + "Dramatis Personae"
Zimmy, Aug 09 2005

       Thought this was going to be an idea to make William Hartnell braver.
coprocephalous, Aug 09 2005

       I just had this very same idea while reading a newspaper (I was in a old-fashioned sort of mood, I suppose). I was only slightly surprised (albeit pleasantly so) that this idea had already been posted.
ytk, Sep 24 2012

       I'd prefer the Book of Hours version.
Phrontistery, Sep 26 2012


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