forged or not forged memo

This is an animated gif of the “forged” memo overlayed with the original.

I’m not convinced.

Here are my arguments against forgery.

  1. Times New Roman was undoubtedly created from a standard font that existed from way back in typewriter days. MS didn’t invent it, they just made it look exactly like the standard. Not convincing. The proportionality is probably a similar thing. Microsoft wanted to engineer word to work like real docs people were used to, not the other way around.
  2. Note the horizontal alignment of the characters on the original, they hit the page at slightly different heights. The MS word version hits exactly.
  3. I don’t buy the argument that the original looks different just because it was put through a photocopier. Unless the copier in question was set to a very low DPI resolution, you would not get consistent movement of letters the way you do with the alignment here.  
  4. Look at all instances of the lower-case letter ‘e’ in the original, don’t they look smaller than the MS word version. If it happens everywhere it wouldn’t be due to a photocopier artifact.
  5. Some letters are consistently stylized differently. Many have consistently more old-timey manual typewriter stylized look to them. M, L, S, B jump out to me as something that wouldn’t have been generated on MS Word.
  6. The standard today is a single-space after a period. Back then it was double space. The “forger” is either smart enough to know this, but not smart enough to hide the superscript th, or perhaps he incorrectly uses two spaces today. (bonus video on single-space vs double-space after period

I can’t comment on the superscript thing, but I’d have to submit that is the most damming evidence for forgery.

[image via Scott Hanselman]

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