Today's spreedread was brought to you by the letter G
September 18, 2018

Due to their close relationship, many people have speculated that Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie are a couple, and a former writer for the show said those viewers are correct.

In an interview with Queerty, Mark Saltzman said while writing for the characters, he used his own experiences with his partner. "I didn't have any other way to contextualize them," Saltzman said. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces Sesame Street, quickly released a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying that not only are Bert and Ernie not gay, but they don't have a sexual orientation, period.

"As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends," Sesame Workshop declared. "They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation." A few hours later, Sesame Workshop followed up with another statement, saying Sesame Street has "always stood for inclusion and acceptance. It's a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds are welcome." Should Bert and Ernie weigh in on the matter, this report will be updated. Catherine Garcia

April 3, 2018

Americans have basically no idea what one version of a lowercase "G" looks like, an extremely embarrassing study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University has found. Typography nerds might know that there are only two letters that have two different lowercase versions: A and G. There is the "opentail" lowercase G, which is the one you usually see; we use it here at The Week ( g ).

Then there is the fancy schmancy "looptail" G, which looks like this:

In the study of 38 adults, participants were asked to read a paragraph featuring 14 looptail G's and then copy the G down in the style they saw it each time. "Half of them wrote the opentail type," The Verge writes, while "only one person" could actually complete the task properly in its entirety. In another part of the test, which involved picking the correctly written G out of a lineup of four options, only seven people managed to select the right one.

Researchers believe this might have something to do with the fact that people don't write by hand as much anymore, thanks to all the digital alternatives. "In this context we relate our findings to studies showing poor knowledge or memory for various types of stimuli despite extensive exposure," the researchers wrote — after all, we can read a word with a looptail G in it just fine.

Then again, Google's old logo used a fusion of lowercase G styles. Maybe we've all just seen it way too many times. Test how well you know your lowercase G's over at The Verge. Jeva Lange

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