Is There an Art to Bolding?

I’m supposed to be working on a memo right now. I even “rewarded” myself with pizza for lunch for working so hard on the memo before lunch. But there comes a point in memo writing where you’re supposed to bold things. Maybe not in all memo writing, but in memo writing here.

So, I write this ridiculously long thing that includes every possible scenario under the sun all of which are very unlikely to pass and I spend all day crafting it and then I feel like I bold the ten sentences anyone actually needed to read and… so… why didn’t I just write those ten sentences in the first place?

And, if I had just written those ten sentences, would I be asked to bold key phrases?

Hey, you know, I could whittle it down to Do blah blah blah what blah blah blah I blah blah blah say.

No, but the point I wanted to make is that I don’t understand the philosophy behind bolding things. Do I bold the important points? Do I bold only the things I want people to not be able to claim they didn’t read? Can I bold a whole sentence?

And some people make their bold words difference colors. Is this just showing off or is there a difference between a word bolded in the color of the rest of the text and a word bolded in its own color?

Are there people for whom bolding comes naturally?

3 thoughts on “Is There an Art to Bolding?

  1. The rule for bolding in memo/letter form is… If you want the reader to hate you, bold randomly throughout. If you want the reader to hate you, your parents, and your children, bold and use different colors. There’s a guy in the office who used to do this with an added side of condascension. I think he was ‘promoted’ to be the guy that picks up dead animals off the highways.

  2. I usually do a cover sheet with an “executive summary” — I cut out all the supporting details and just go with the
    points that I want to emphasize. The busy can glance at what is important and when they have time, they can go track down my reasoning. The lazy can just skate, but at the cost of being controlled by my conclusions.

  3. I have always thought bolding should be on the word or words that you would stress in speech. People often seem to bold the word before or after that. Which tends to first confuse me and then irritate me a great deal. I’ve never been sure if I’m weird or people talk funny.
    I suppose in bolding sentences I’d assume you would bold the ones that you wanted to stand out above the rest?

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