Created By: pawsplay on February 24, 2012 Last Edited By: pawsplay on September 5, 2016

Visual Inflection

The appearance of text conveys something about dialog

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Trope
A trope in which qualities of speech, such as mood or voice, are conveyed visually by the medium. A Sister Trope of Unconventional Formatting. This trope is strongly associated with Speech Bubbles. In written works, italics can be used to convey certain emphases. Used in one place, it might depict a character's sarcasm, but in other contexts it might indicate a character switching to a shout.

See Painting the Medium for visual elements in general communicating text to the audience through their perception of the medium. Bold Inflation is a common subtrope.

This is an Omnipresent Trope in Comic Books; boring, Played Straight examples are unnecessary.

Literature

Video Games

Webcomics
  • All Homestuck characters who talk have their own particular typing quirks that generally indicate the way they speak. For example, Rose's text is purple to show that she types very verbosely, while Karkat constantly types in ALL CAPS to indicate what a loud, mean person he is.
  • In Dinosaur Comics, God talks in BOLD ALL CAPS. The Devil meanwhile speaks in '''BIG RED LETTERS
  • MegaTokyo uses < less-than and greater-than brackets > to indicate that characters are speaking Japanese, with the readers benefiting from a Translation Convention. Sometimes two characters will attempt (and fail) to have a conversation with one speaking in bracketed text and the other speaking sans-brackets.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • February 24, 2012
    Folamh3
  • February 24, 2012
    pawsplay
    Now incorporated into the description. Unconventional Formatting does this with ideas and information in the text medium, Visual Inflection does this for sensory and emotional qualities in dialog.
  • February 24, 2012
    TonyG
    Bold Inflation would be a subtrope.
  • February 25, 2012
    benjamminsam
    Mr Saturn's font in Earthbound.
  • February 25, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    In the Paper Mario games, dialogue is always conveyed through text in speech bubbles. If someone needs to describe what something or someone looks like, the character says, "He/she/it looks like this" accompanied by an image of the object or person.
  • February 28, 2012
    TBeholder
  • February 29, 2012
    Shnakepup
    • In a more general sense, italics can be used to convey certain emphases. Used in one sense, it might depict a character's sarcasm, but in other contexts it might indicate a character switching to a shout.
  • March 3, 2012
    TBeholder
    do Speech Bubbles decorations (given different borders, colored, etc.) count?
  • March 3, 2012
    pawsplay
    Yes. Any visual elements that change the meaning of the text.
  • March 4, 2012
    ClockStopping
    • All Homestuck characters who talk have their own particular typing quirks that generally indicate the way they speak. For example, Rose's text is purple to show that she types very verbosely, while Karkat constantly types in ALL CAPS to indicate what a loud, mean person he is.
    • In Dinosaur Comics, God talks in BOLD ALL CAPS. The Devil meanwhile speaks in BIG RED LETTERS, and the raccoons and cephalopods ARE UNNERVINGLY ITALICISED.
  • March 5, 2012
    AFP
    • Mega Tokyo uses < less-than and greater-than brackets > to indicate that characters are speaking Japanese, with the readers benefiting from a Translation Convention. Sometimes two characters will attempt (and fail) to have a conversation with one speaking in bracketed text and the other speaking sans-brackets.
  • April 2, 2012
    troacctid
    I guess if we launch this it may put a damper on my image suggestion for Painting The Medium.
  • April 2, 2012
    pawsplay
    Actually, I was looking at some of the previous suggested images for that which would work well for this. I think there's plenty to go 'round.
  • July 13, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Bumping, since this trope seems to cover many examples of Painting The Fourth Wall
  • September 4, 2016
    DAN004
    Let's see if this'll get some love
  • September 5, 2016
    oneuglybunny
    Webcomics
    • Nellie Kitchen's Furry Experience has the Tuesday 8 June 2010 installment in which the asocial Catherine laments having Courtney as a partner for a writing assignment. When Ronnie suggests that Cat ask for a different partner, Cat replies that Courtney is her "designated classmate." Ronnie repeats this phrase in a photonegative speech balloon, prompting Cat to respond, "Stop using your 'Cat is crazy' voice."
  • September 5, 2016
    eroock
    Can we see an example? I am not sure I understand the difference to Painting The Medium.
  • September 5, 2016
    henke37
    Video games get additional tools since they can animate the text. Various forms of shaking and waving are popular.
  • September 5, 2016
    lakingsif
    oh, there's a post on tumblr where the lyrics to Smash Mouth's "All Star" are written as they're sung, wavy for pitch, italic for tonality, bold for volume etc. It'd probably make a good picture if someone could find it
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=6u1l2juvj3m2pv72zeab7ch4