Way back in the 1990’s I was writing a letter to a friend of mine on this newfangled word processing program called WordPerfect. I absolutely adored WordPerfect back in the day and would use it over any other word processing program — including Microsoft Word for many many years. I’d actually been using WP for a while at the time of this letter writing event, but it had just been updated to Windows, and it had some nifty new features — like fonts! I was all over the cursive font because how awesome was it to be able to type in cursive? And wow! The program would, like, capitalize the first word of a sentence if I used the proper punctuation. And there were suddenly these wavy red lines under misspelled words and wavy green lines under grammar errors! It was pretty mind blowing at the time.
Of course, punctuation doesn’t always equal the end of a sentence, so that got frustrating once in a while. And spellcheck has since been proven to be very fallible. It is still a good place to start, but yeah, spellcheck just won’t see the mistake in I red the sentence. or She bread rabbits for fun and profit. because the words red and bread are spelled correctly. Still, spellcheck in all its forms is a good program, and I still use it as a jumping off point whenever I proofread my stuff. And, contrary to popular belief, I do proofread. 🙂
Anyway, I was thinking about that letter back then — about 25 years ago I guess — and it occurred to me that the wonder of that first letter is still kind of there. Because before word processing programs like WordPerfect and Microsoft Word, I either had to use a typewriter to type a letter, or write it by hand. Both of with were tedious processes for me, because while I can touch type ,and do a fairly good job at typing, I do make mistakes. And, OMG, don’t even get me started about writing business letters and/or books on a typewriter. Mistakes just couldn’t happen. It was so stressful. Same with writing by hand, I used to have pretty good handwriting, and actually enjoyed writing a lot, but I do make mistakes. I used to be way too much of a perfectionist to leave mistakes in my letters. I’m better about it now (as can be attested by how many mistakes are usually found in my blog posts 😛 ), but back then? No way. Word processing programs were a godsend for me because I could just go back and correct my mistakes — helped along by the little red lines.
And here I am, still writing with similar word processing technology, but on a different scale. But many things are the same. My words will still automatically capitalize if I use certain punctuation, and I still have the same squiggly lines under misspelled words — twenty some odd years later. You know what, dear reader? Even now, I think that word processing programs are pretty awesome. I think the fact that I can write these words on my computer, hit the “publish” button, wait a few seconds, and it’s published for anyone in the world to see is pretty damned amazing. Even with the glitches and foibles of certain websites. I’ve always thought the internet was rather remarkable and awe inspiring, despite how ubiquitous it is nowadays. Childbirth is an everyday experience, but it’s also a wonderful event.
Blah, I’ve run out of steam. 🙂 I just wanted to share this kind of stream of consciousness with y’all. I had that memory and it just went from there. I really did love writing letters on WordPerfect, though I use Microsoft Word now (because I have the whole Office Suite). And I guess I’ll always have that memory of, “This is pretty awesome.” And I still think that this is whole word processing, picture processing, and internet thing pretty awesome, even though it’s pretty much the every day hum-de-dum nowadays. Without the internet, I couldn’t torture y’all, dear readers, with my strange musings. And then what would you do for weirdness? ^_^