With a world shortage of magnesium looming, the printing industry is looking at ways of saving this crucial ingredient in ink.
"Magnesium has very few uses," said Hugh Packard, head of ink at Kodak. "It's main use is in the manufacturer of ink jet inks and laser toners. Especially in black ink."
According to the Endangered Chemical Red List, there is only enough magnesium to last another ten years at current rates.
"The problem we have," said Packard, "is that the printing industry has taken off in recent years. It's almost exponential now. We encourage people to include a line in their email signatures to ask if it's really necessary to print off the email, but people still do. People print off everything. Even stuff they don't need to print off."
Packard believes that there is no thought about printing, people just do it.
"Additionally, despite perfectly good alternatives, the sales of books across the world has been doubling every year for the past ten years. More books are sold world wide than can be read at the moment," said Packard. "So we are having to look for alternatives until we can replace the magnesium with something that is not on the critical list."
Whilst materials scientists look for alternatives using silicon, carbon and iron, of which there is plenty, Packard would like a world wide change in written language.
"We really don't need the dots above the letters 'i' and 'j'," he said. "They serve no purpose. We would also like countries such as Germany, France and Spain to consider dropping the diacritic marks above their letters. Surely, everybody by now knows how to pronounce the words. They don't need little marks giving people handy hints. The English have managed perfectly well without any indication of where stress should go in a word, and we think other countries can too."
The collective name for the dots above the i and j is 'tittle' a word that will soon come into more common usage.
"Save ink," said Packard. "Drop the tittle."
[Please do not print off this Spoof unless you want me to come around and force feed it to you.]