Friday, June 22, 2007

Video: The Impotence of Proofreading By Taylor Mali

Having read some results of over-dependence on computer spellcheck functions while grading English 110 papers, I found this YouTube video quite funny. The tool definitely only does what you ask it to... And it's a phenomenon that teachers wouldn't have had to deal with nearly as much 15 or 20 years ago.

Thanks to Jodie for sharing the link.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ah, those Newfangled Typewriters!

"'Have you some more typing to do tonight, Miss Murchison?'

"'Got to do the whole bally thing again,' said Miss Murchison. 'Left out a paragraph on page one--it would be page one, of course--and he wants the tripe round at Hanson's by 10 o'clock.'

"Mr. Pond groaned slightly and shook his head.

"'Those machines make you careless,' he reproved her. 'In the old days, clerks thought twice about making foolish mistakes, when it meant copying the whole document out again by hand.'

"'Glad I didn't live then,' said Miss Murchison, shortly. 'One might as well have been a galley-slave.'"

--From Dorothy Sayers' 1930 mystery novel Strong Poison

Clearly, while our technology has changed a bit in the last 70 or 80 years, the argument about whether things have gotten better or worse has stayed pretty much the same...