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Shape of Type Affects Cognition

The shape of words, sentences, paragraphs and pages affects cognition as much as the choice of typeface. ALL CAPITALS, e.g., provide fewer visual cues than words in mixed case. Paragraphs, however, convey a "self-contained idea" when they are shaped to minimize the amount of left or right raggedness. Square blocks of type get especially careful readings. They are also very tiring. Wider paragraphs are more relaxed. Raggedness prevents nonuniform inter-word spacing and its negative effects     on     cognition, and it can provide an edgy visual interest to rectangular surroundings. Single-word "widows" and "orphans" at the bottom of paragraphs or the top of pages, however, convey cognitive isolation.