January 10, 2013

At the Writer's Café...

Untitled

... why is there no 1 here?

65 comments:

Rocketeer said...

L if I know.

jimpbucher said...

You used the lower case “l” (as in “j, k, l …) for the number “one.”

rehajm said...

L is the loneliest number.

rehajm said...

..or l. '50' has friends...

Portia said...

Who uses a '1' anyway. Maybe for 1-trillion coins or something.

Christopher said...

This is like me Dad's Smith-Corona--maybe the exact same model, right down to the hard case it's attached to. Still have it, and love it.

Seeing Red said...
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gerry said...

1 key is frequently missing.

ambienisevil said...
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gerry said...

Oh, boy, does that bring back memories.

I bought a SC dot matrix typewriter as a gift for my student wife, way back when, since it had a full-line memory and you could correct anything before hitting the return key. $99 at KMart, I think.

Before that we used my old SC electric, which featured half-spacing availability so you could correct words missing a character, after using correction tape on the letter where you wanted to insert the additional character.

Man, do I love computers!

rhhardin said...

Lautreamont starling flight, self-descriptive.

rhhardin said...

(Lautreamont: the Lykiard translation is better, if you're choosing one.)

Beth said...

On The Amazing Race on season, in one of the challenges they had to re-type some copy that involved figuring out how to type the #1 on this type of typewriter.

Mitchell the Bat said...

One of Althouse's favorite films is Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Fair enough. I saw it on her advice and it was extremely excellent.

Seeing that lead me to Stroszek (1977) and it was also extremely excellent. It has perhaps my favorite ending of any movie.

And that got me thinking. What are some other examples of endings that left me feeling like I just got gut-punched and I'm grateful for it?

These came immediately to mind: (1) Stroszek; (2) The Graduate; (3) The Sopranos; (4) many episodes of Mad Men but especially (a) the first episode and (b) the one with "Tomorrow Never Knows"; (5) Godfather I, of course; and finally (6) "The Swimmer" by John Cheever.

Quayle said...

Computers have made writing so much easier.

But it certainly hasn't gotten any better.

Only more voluminous.

Quayle said...

And that got me thinking. What are some other examples of endings that left me feeling like I just got gut-punched and I'm grateful for it?

One of my favorites is "Sophie Scholl - The Final Days"

Quayle said...
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lemondog said...

The '2' was a '1' that ate the '1' and became a '2'.... etu brutus?

Whatever became of Dan Quayle, you ask?

As I was curious about Jewel-Osco sold as part of $3.3 billion deal (Jewel founded in 1899 in Chicago) involving
Cerberus Capital Management I see a J. Danforth Quayle as Chairman who always seemed to be a subject of ridicule as VP under Bush I.

Paddy O said...

communist typewriter

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Too cheesy for number 2.

Paddy O said...

It's Christian.

The 3 is 1.

Paddy O said...

It didn't have anything to drink?

Paddy O said...

Used in an office that promotes self-esteem sports leagues?

Freeman Hunt said...

Ha. I saw this post just as my husband, who was up writing all night, emerged from the bedroom and disappeared into the basement to write some more. He is very very good at it, but he does not enjoy doing it. Only the final product makes it worth it to him. (The final product and the fact that we have a home and food and all of that.)

Freeman Hunt said...

I think he experiences large writing projects as a kind of mental torment. While it is going on, it never lets him alone. Story problems plague his attention unceasingly until the work is done.

David said...

l if I know.

Freeman Hunt said...

When he wrote a script soon after we were married, he was plotting it, and he didn't have the computer program he has now, so he printed all the little story bits out and cut them out so they could be rearranged. They were printed in a ten point font, so the paper strips were very thin, and he had them laying all over the floor and the desk, hundreds of these little strips. There could be no swift opening of the office door.

edutcher said...

L with it, where's the !?

Noz pkr said...

The 1 is in the Oval Office.

David Baker said...

Handwriting Analysis of Jack Lew’s signature:

Lots of discussion in the news about treasury nominee Jack Lew's unusual and interesting signature, which appears as a series of seemingly indecipherable loops. But in handwriting analysis, even the indecipherable is very… decipherable:

The first stroke in Lew’s signature shows a very high degree of competitiveness, a man who abhors finishing 2nd, much less last.

But first and foremost, Lew is one cool customer, extremely cool, to the point of emotional ice, a real Dr. Spock. Which is the main or most influential characteristic reflected by his signature. No warm and fuzzy here. Which also indicates an individual who will consider his own position/advantage first.

In addition, marked decisiveness, the rare ability to not only make up one’s mind without dithering, but to stick to those decisions regardless of external pressures. He’s also a person who tends to keep his own council, he's not generally a consensus taker.

Lew is also a habitual worrier (that's essentially what all those loops are about), in fact, I've never seen the worry factor at a higher level; a flat out 10. But in this writing the worry factor is a driver rather than a brake, basically prompting the writer to consider all the relative options, and to adjust accordingly, somewhat mitigating what might appear to others as intransigence or stubbornness.

Summary: Strong leadership qualities – very effective negotiator given his unflappable nature, underscored by a desire, nay, need to win. Downside: Cool, cold, emotionally removed, at times an apparent automaton.

D. Baker, CGA

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

This type of typewriter dates from the WWII era, when we were cut off from the "1" mines in occupied France, and we were forced to use lower case "l"s until after the liberation of Occupied Europe. As you can see from my message, some companies, like Dell, never went back to proper ones, and continue to use lower case ls to this day, even in computer fants.

Tim Wright said...

The original all in one digital word processor.

tim

Bob_R said...

I remember when my mother first got a computer. She'd constantly get data entry errors for using a lower case L for a 1.

Tim Wright said...

BTW, typewriters are "cool" again. Check out the adventures in typewriting blog at:

http://cambridgetypewriter.blogspot.com/

tim

campy said...

I remember when my mother first got a computer. She'd constantly get data entry errors for using a lower case L for a 1.

IIRC MSWord has/had an option to auto-correct that habit.

Levi Starks said...

Clearly this typewriter was ahead of it's time.
It should feel quite at home in a world where no single key should dare to claim the moniker of being number one. It's an honor that should be shared among all the keys.

m stone said...

Freeman: what is hubs writing now?

Old RPM Daddy said...

Lowercase "l" for "1"

Apostrophe, backspace, period for "!"

Roll up half a line, type "o" for a "degrees" sign

Do I miss those rattly old typewriters? No, I do not. But the last one I used much allowed me to review and correct a whole line of text before committing it to paper.

Old RPM Daddy said...

We're a couple generations behond typewriters now, I think. Today, of course, one can claim having used WordStar for DOS as his antediluvian bona fides.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman: what is hubs writing now?

A minor revision to a screenplay. He should be done in a few hours.

Freeman Hunt said...

I have a mechanical Olivetti, but I never use it because it is too difficult to depress the keys.

Ann Althouse said...

"Before that we used my old SC electric, which featured half-spacing availability so you could correct words missing a character, after using correction tape on the letter where you wanted to insert the additional character."

With a manual typewriter, you could get into the middle of 2 spaces by holding the roller while pressing the space bar. It took some skill!

I remember loving when typewriters got automatic return keys, but now I think the handle for returning the roller is really nice.

I remember when "wraparound" text came out on computers. It was one of the amazing new features in the 80s. When MacWrite and Word were available in 1985 when I got my first computer, I noted that both had wraparound text, but only Word had a footnotes function.

Remember doing footnotes on a typewriter? You had to roll the bar to do a superscript letter, and then plan for how long your footnote was going to be and switch to typing footnotes at the bottom.

Before "wraparound" text, you had to respond to the bell. You could type a few more characters and then it would stop, but you could hit the "margin release" button and go on even beyond the paper.

Patrick said...

Remember doing footnotes on a typewriter? You had to roll the bar to do a superscript letter, and then plan for how long your footnote was going to be and switch to typing footnotes at the bottom.

God, that was a pain in the ass. You had to calculate how much space the footnote would need, and then after you rolled the bar, you had to get it back exactly, which wasn't always a picnic.

Thank God I could use a PC by the time I went to law school. Never would have done Law Review without it.

Happy Warrior said...

A vast left-wing conspiracy to brainwash people into liberalism by forcing them ot use the letter 'l' more than otherwise.

Peter said...

Computers have changed the way people write (and not necessarily for the better).

A typewriter was not used the way a word processor is. Because typing on a typewriter is unpleasant and making corrections to a typed page all but impossible, one did not just sit down at the thing and start typing.

Instead, one started by writing a handwritten outline. Then, the outline was revised a few times. Then the outline was written out by hand to produce a first draft, and the first draft was read and marked-up and re-read and marked up until further readings produced no further changes. Only then was the work committed to print.

Of course, one could still write this way and just use a computer instead of a typewriter for the final step. But no one does, as it's just to easy to sit down in front of a computer and start typing.

BUT, the final results aren't necesarrily better.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

If I had had a word processor in college I probably would have finished my Comp Lit degree. The drudgery of typing-- mistake-- erasing-- (repeat) finally wore me down. Heck, they didn't even have whiteout in those days, just erasable bond. Eventually I discovered engineering, a discipline with no typing.

Richard Dolan said...

Typewriters are today what buggy whips were to our grandparents (mine, anyway). It's the thing that epitomizes a form of daily life for our generation that our kids will never experience, today's metaphor for all that time has displaced.

Richard Dolan said...
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Paul Zrimsek said...

Handwriting Analysis of Jack Lew’s signature:

I don't know whether there is a good time to have a Spirograph running the Treasury, but even if there is a good time for it, this probably isn't it.

Mitchell the Bat said...

One of the things good abut computers is us rapid fire two finger typists can wtill seems like we're edjucated because we can go back over and over out stuff later editing and correct all our mistakes and grammar and take out a bunch of stuff that's just stuopifd and repetative a. Ad then there are the inevitable misspellings and typos.

Astro said...

There's something very quaint about seeing the cents symbol, and the 1/2, 1/4 key. The @ symbol is there, but it's not the uppercase 2.

In typing class in high school it was fun to turn around to the person behind you during a timed typing test and flip their margin key, totally screwing up their page of text. Geez, we were wild kids back then.

lemondog said...

re: Spirograph, no need to worry about his passing out from exertion as his hand will be well-toned for adding all those zero's to numbers.

traditionalguy said...

The Antiques Road Show says the unrestored old junk is usually worth more.

Paddy O said...

All the extra time I save with doing footnotes (749 in my dissertation) I make up with Facebook, Althouse comments and suchlikes.

So technology gives and technology takes away.

What's also really great is the bibliographic programs like Endnote. Finish a paper or project and then have to spend a day or more formatting all the citations and bibliography. Now it does it for you. For the most part, once you get to know it.

Penny said...

What an exquisite typewriter!

There's something about the "feel" of those old, industrial keys, and how the pads of your fingertips just want to fit right in there.

I'm hoping this won't feel like a derail, but one night I went surfing around for pictures of old typewriters like the one I played on as a kid. In the course of doing that, I found this site, Datamancer.net, where this guy is creating art into the most amazing retro computer keyboards I have ever seen.

He calls it "Prestidigital Datamancery & Paraphrenalic Technofetishism".

Whoa, baby!

Michael K said...

"
I remember when "wraparound" text came out on computers. It was one of the amazing new features in the 80s. "

I used Wordstar. It was also usable for programming and some languages, like SAS, a statistics program, still use the same keystrokes.

ken in sc said...

Computers and word processing programs allow us to create more perfect spell checked and grammar corrected BS and nonsense than ever before. I think a lot of BS was prevented when you had to retype the whole page to add a minor stupid idea.

BTW, I have been through Peachtext, Word Star, Geos Writer, Bankstreet Writer, Word Perfect, MS Works, MS Word, and I now use Open Office Writer.

ken in sc said...

Also, Word Perfect control codes still work on many programs, such as control u means underline, control x means cut, control v means paste, control b means bold, and control i means italic.

kentuckyliz said...

In Word 2010 and 2007 (and I forget about earlier versions), References > Citations and Bibliography can be used for adding references (Manage Sources), setting the style (best done first), inserting citations, and generating a bibliography. Probably a little cheesy for dissertation length, though.

I heart it.

My college papers were first draft = last draft, because I'm that good.

Ivy said...

I learned to type on one of those ....

Erika said...

Wish I could get my hands on one of the aging typewriters that were a dime a dozen when I was a kid in the 80s. My preschoolers would go bananas over it and it would support letter recognition for my kinetic learners. But they have become expensive on the used market.

Jean said...

You're how old?

Jean said...

You're how old?

autothreads said...

I don't know what kind of machine they used at my high school when I learned to touch type, but my mom had worked as a secretary so we had typewriters at home, one was an old black frame Underwood I believe and another was a tank of an electric Remington that must have been from the 1950s. It weighs at least 35 lbs. In college I used a crappy portable Smith Corona and a portable electric Olivetti of my mom's.

I never got to be really fast, only about 40 WPM, maybe 45 at best, because my mom could do 80-90 and in high school it was just faster to give her the drafts.

Gestetner duplicators, mimeograph machines, 16mm education films (I write about cars and am a big Jam Handy fan), a lost world. I can remember when my high school got its first video equipment. It was a big Ampex reel to reel recorder that used, I think, half inch wide recording tape. Black and white, with a camera that was a bit sensitive to bright lights that connected via cable to the deck. I remember what a big deal it was that when my 12th grade French class performed Joan of Arc we were able to video tape it and show it to other classes.

Funny (not really) how schools and kids today have all sorts of tools and toys, yet the graduates have worse thinking skills. What good is a word processor if you can't compose a coherent sentence? If you can't compose a coherent sentence, you can't really think.

I think it's part of a deliberate gramscian strategy to make everyone stupid.

If you don't teach them any thing, you can teach them anything.

autothreads said...

Come to think of it, back then teachers used to spend a significant amount of time preparing duplicate copies. To make multiple copies of a test to hand out, they had to prepare mimeograph sheets for each page and then run them off on a mimeograph machine. Today, teachers just hit Print (or force the students to use some kind of electronic test taking device). Do they use the time saved constructively?