Let me bury the lede for a moment to tell you a story. Long ago, in a magical realm called Academe, professors grew wise to the old student tricks of futzing with both margins and text spacing to make their essays fit a prescribed page limit. Triple spacing and two-inch margins could no longer save you from the effects of a debauched evening spent drinking on Franklin Street when you should have been in the library reading “Aurora Lee” instead.
But for a few shining years, professors didn’t mandate font choices—and they wouldn’t deploy the Red Pen of Shame unless you headlined your takedown of Barthes’ S/Z in, say, Comic Sans.
As someone intent on being a Serious Writer, I felt it my duty to write papers that would fully showcase my genius. Papers that might, in the strictest sense, exceed the given page count. And when I was really wordsmithing the hell out of my analysis of the court sermons of Lancelot Andrewes, it was always Garamond that came to my rescue.