Color coded words

When you bought your textbooks, did you evaluate them on how well color-coded the highlighting was in the used copies? If someone before you had turned the page into an angry fruit salad, the value of the text diminished. If instead they were careful and methodical and deft with the use of their marker, the text would be that much easier to read.

I’m experimenting with color-coding here, in particular in three ways. Names, e.g. Vladimir Nabokov, are blue; key phrases, like letter-color synaesthesia, are yellow; and the titles of books like Speak, Memory get purple treatement.

After doing this for a while you start to expect it. Color coding names is particularly visually appealing, since it lends itself to a quick scan of the page. Names seem to want to be blue, why wouldn’t they be blue?

I’m doing this trick of coloration through shortcodes in Hugo , the blogging software that I use. The process is reasonably easy, though it’s a little bit fragile, as typoes in the markup can generate errors. I’d like the process of visual markup to feed the category system and the nascent name index that I keep, but I haven’t sorted that yet.

HTML has of course had links with some color in it for years and year, but somehow never managed to get the concept of visually distinctive typed links to be a core of the language. It is hard to know really where the destination for a hyperlink should go in the abstract. I’m content for the moment to have the more important stuff get raised a little off the page, not because I want to hyperlink off into hyperspace, but because I want to see what I’m doing a little more clearly.