If You Use Comic Sans In A Professional Email You Deserve To Die

My job is pretty easy to do. I like to imagine one of those plastic birds with a weight at the end—you know, they bend over for eternity, hitting a single key, or hilariously appear to be taking a tiny peck of water—as something qualified to work my position. “Information Specialist” is my proper title, and while I’ve spent at least/only three nights to date crying, with half a sixer of Smirnoff wine coolers by my side, clutching my copy of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style and wondering if I’d ever have a creative thought again, I still take my job somewhat seriously.

I don’t drink too frequently on the job. I only steal things I desperately need, like a can opener (just for one night), or a ream of someone else’s business cards. I don’t chit-chat like my coworkers do (perhaps because we have nothing in common), talking for centuries on end about how, “Oh my god, did you see Jerome last night, on Housewives? Shooooooot, I said to my husband, ‘He must be out his damn mind!’” I rarely use the office postage meter for personal use, etc., etc.

So it’s been established that I’m a bastion of professionalism. However, in being in the “real world” now for just under a year, I’ve noticed a very real and very disturbing phenomenon…

At a rate that is far too shocking to actually calculate, I am opening more and more emails, business emails. PROFESSIONAL emails, where the writer has made the bold choice of selecting Comic Sans MS as their font. Perhaps you’ve seen an email like this before. Perhaps you, yes you, fair reader, have sent one of these emails. If that’s the case, please, I invite you to open your CD-rom tray and mash your dick into it, or if you’re a ladytype, think of a creative and fun way to destroy your ability to propagate your seed.

I’m not sure what the rationale is, frankly. I don’t even understand what would drive anyone to burn the 12 calories it takes to find and select a font other than whatever the fuck your email client gives you. Second, why would you choose Comic Sans MS? Prior to this unfortunate treasure trove of turd pudding in my inbox, the last time I had seen Comic Sans MS was on AOL Instant Messenger in 5th grade, when literally every single other kid was using some color/style/size derivative: Jeff Dilorenzo had a simple pale blue, bold look, whereas Casey Cronan was a more stringy red, no emphasis. Larry Foote had a strange, size 12 or 13 green color that made everyone uneasy, and I rotated between a series of just too light colors that made everyone inch a little closer to their computers.

We all know how, like the End User License Agreement on iTunes or the menu at Chipotle now that they have to list calories, signatures across all professional fields are getting longer. I don’t really understand the technology behind this, or if it was some Microsoft vs. Apple-esque battle–a space race but with more and more characters and tacky ASCII art—but in any case, sigs are huge. Way huge. They take up entire chunks of my screen, forcing me to scroll through email threads for days, skimming over logos and titles and maiden names and Banksy artwork and all the other useless shit that a complete Atomic family style signature entails. Some of the people I deal with have the gall to include a little blurb at the very end, in italicized green, Please consider the environment before you print this email with an image of a little stupid ASCII tree. Like they’ve ever sent an email worth printing before.

Pretty soon, I suppose they’ll be selling ad space for certain people’s signatures. Bill Gates, or the man in black turtlenecks from Apple. The point is, who gives a fuck. I sign off on work emails the same way, every single time, like it’s rolling off the fucking conveyor belt at a factory:

Best regards,
John

And then follows my glorious signature. It only contains the essentials:

  • My title, Information Specialist, in case you were wondering why I’m so fucking smart
  • Our company name, if you forgot who you were doing business with
  • Our address, in the event you want to come visit or hopefully burn the whole office complex to the ground (no four-digit extension on the zip either, does it look like we’re standing in a post office?)
  • A link to our awful, awful, outdated website, so you can go there instead of bothering me anymore
  • A link to our Twitter page that I never update, because none of our customers are under 40
  • Our phone number, so you have another avenue, my dear customer, to aggravate the piss out of me
  • Our fax number, because it’s 1995 still

Signatures can be ignored. Glossed over. Forgotten about. There is NOTHING forgettable about a Comic Sans MS work email, or forgivable. The coup de grace however, is when some kind, probably loving soul, makes the executive decision to utilize a font which makes their name in the signature appear in the faux-handwritten style. I’m not going to make a big stink about it, or make all kinds of wacky proclamations about how blatantly tacky and borderline offensive it is to the human race, to conclude a message like that. The thought process to me is somewhere just north of “totally fucking batshit.”

It doesn’t even make sense. I feel like I’m trapped in an unused chapter of Then We Came to the End. “Was she trying to do that, we thought, staring in horror at the signature. Or maybe it’s just some sort of mistake? Maybe she chose one font, and the computer just selected another. The untrained hand operating one of these machines can fuck almost anything up, we reasoned to ourselves…”

Emails entirely in blue I can abide. Emails with every other character illegible because of some translation error I can abide. Emails in broken English from my boy, Simon Tan of Taiwan asking for the ten thousandth fucking millionth time where his 510(k) document is I can abide. But there’s just something about the soft, farcically rounded letters of Comic Sans MS that make me want to commit mild arson.

Next time you’re sending an email, and you’re worried you may be engaging in some of the douchebaggery you just read about, stop before you send and perform this simple check:

  • Step 1) Am I using the font known as Comic Sans MS, or Curlz MT or something similar to achieve a faux-handwritten signature style? If yes, go to step 2. If no, skip ahead to step 3.
  • Step 2) Die. Right now, any way will do.
  • Step 3) Congratulations! You aren’t a fucking total muppet. You can make it in the real world. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

  • KP

    Anyone else rocking the chrome plugin for Chrome and reading this article in Comic Sans? haha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jade.orlich Jade Mitchell

    Bradley Hand ITC signatures are just as bad.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cowashee Colleen Farrell

    PREACH!

  • Gd

    nice article really original

    • hm.

      I wish there was a Sarcasm font.

  • Anonymous

    chill out dude

  • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

    I love this and relate to every single word.

  • Justinn

    The AOL messenger paragraph is absolutely perfect.

  • RAH

    please please please die comic sans

  • White lung

    dude we know. seriously everybody knows

  • victoria elliott

    the different coloured fonts were funny but idk

  • Skip

    Bet this guy is a closet Comic Sans MS user anyways.

  • Teukros

    Look, as an editor myself I have paroxysms over Comic Sans too, but I'd expect a little more…well, editing in this piece.

  • http://twitter.com/crapface Hannah Foster.

    I was so hot for Curlz MT in primary school.

  • http://twitter.com/spencercniemetz Spencer Niemetz

    I was just reminded of all the times I've proofread my mother's e-mails and tried, in vain, to explain why Times New Roman and Arial are okay and she doesn't need to appeal to anyone's inner child with a tacky font.

    • Waicool

      while pointing with a daisy cursor no less

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    The stupid green tree message is itself fucking the environment because it makes the email slightly heavier and so it takes more electricity to push it down the wires.  Also only old people print emails. They print web pages too, presumably out of some sort of stupid nostalgia for letters.

    I hate the blue text emails nearly as much but the worst is the high priority ones. I decide what the priority is, not the sender. Some of these cunts send everything high priority. If they're lucky I might get round to it once all the normal priority stuff is done

  • Erik

    People who complain about Comic Sans in 2011 are 1,000 times more deserving of death than people who use Comic Sans.  It's so tired and lame, because no one ever complains in order to get people to stop using Comic Sans, they complain to let other people know that they hate Comic Sans. Guess what? EVERYONE thought Comic Sans was awful like 10 years ago, then they moved onto hating Papyrus, then they gave up on hating fonts altogether. You should do the same.

  • http://twitter.com/bsdf BEN ENGLISCH

    helvetica amirite?

  • Guest

    i love that you pretended not to know steve jobs' name. this is not a sarcastic love. the sentence “Bill Gates and the man with the black turtleneck” made my legs tingle.

  • http://thetimewornwhat.blogspot.com/ shaun gannon

    lol hating comic sans your so cool n edgy n counterclutural

  • utuut4
  • hm.

    I feel like I just opened a time capsule from like, 2000. I'm sorry so many people hated your first TC article.

  • ere211
  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

    I'd go as far to say that anyone using comic sans for any purpose whatsoever should be shot.

  • http://twitter.com/yuramint stacy k

    SO TRUE

blog comments powered by Disqus