The result of improper kerning.
This is a new typography term proposed by David Friedman on his website Ironic Sans (www.ironicsans.com) on or about Feb 19, 2008.
Friedman certainly seems to have struck a nerve, as citations of his
neologism can already be found all over the internet. The keming
problem is quite prevalent on internet web pages, where sans serif fonts abound and browsers are somewhat free to format text as they
Briefly, kerning refers to the particulars of spacing between pairs of letters within words so that space is not wasted and words appear as coherent and aesthetic units, making reading easier. A kerned font layout is also known as proportional spacing, in contrast to the fixed spacing of a so-called 'typewriter' or 'monospace' font, such as Courier. The above definition of keming is in a monospace font.
The inspiration for this brilliantly self-referential
term is, of course, when 'r' and 'n' are placed so near to each other
that they appear to be an 'm'. Other letter combinations sometimes
subject to keming are 'o' and 'l' or 'c' and 'l' appearing as 'd', or
'l' and 'o' appearing as 'b', though these happen more often when
printer drivers have problems with fonts and/or word processing
MajorGeneralPanic points out that there is a complementary issue in OCR systems where the software can interpret a 'd' as 'c' and 'l', resulting in 'downturn' being changed into 'clownturn', for example.