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Use Arial, get fired 

A New Zealand woman was sacked, inter alia, for using the wrong , says The New Zealand Herald (thanks to Paul Blomfield for the original tip):

ProCare told the authority Walker—who was fired in December 2007 after two years of employment—had caused disharmony in the workplace by using block capitals, bold typeface and red text in her emails.

Here is the image shown in the online edition of the Herald:

Clip from NZ Herald

   As I can’t see any bold type in the above illustration, I can only assume it was her choice of that got her fired. I told you Arial was a bad choice of type. It gets a really bad reaction from people.
   But on a more serious note, understanding the reactions people get from type is an important skill to have in the 21st century. And, to provide the full context, because this post has been tongue-in-cheek, Ms Walker’s sacking was due to a few other allegations, but she has now successfully proceeded against her former employer.
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There's nothing wrong with Arial. Absolutely nothing. And therein lies the problem. Its soullessness prompts the user to all sorts of offenses to attract attention. That said, anyone that uses red type in an e-mail probably ought to be fired anyway. Or at least severely reprimanded.  
Well, there are a few things wrong with Arial. It’s a British grotesque typeface stretched and squashed to the metrics of a Swiss one, which results in a very poor design. The best piece on the subject is probably Mark Simonson’s.
   However, I agree with you on the inappropriateness of red type. As a child I was taught that it was a last-resort colour in correspondence, usually used when one wished to break contact with the other party. I find it hard to believe that a woman of Ms Walker’s age was unaware of that.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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