A young printer with his own press decided to create the perfect font. But he had exacting standards, which meant he never got past “A.” Every time he set down a version of the first letter of the alphabet, he found a fault and started over. His search for perfection became an obsession: all he wrote was A, A, A, A. His press, as a consequence, failed, never completing a single project. The printer found a position at a nearby university, teaching English, largely on the basis of his association with the publishing industry. The failed printer settled into the life of an academic, though in his free time, he continued his quest for the perfect font. He never did make it to “B,” and died wretched and alone. He was mourned only by his former pupils, all of whom felt he had been a magnificent judge of student work.

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