These lines always spring to mind at year end, when the forest seems especially labyrinthine.
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una
Monospaced typewriter fonts, that is. I love typewriters-especially IBM Selectrics. The soft, reassuring whir of the motor, the subtle whiff of ozone that permeates the air, and that substantial clunk of a mechanical keyboard firing an impact on paper is soothing and makes writing a physical act and a pure joy. It’s like pulling a trigger, and I’ve found that many folks who enjoy firearms also love typewriters.
Computers live in dog years, but 40 year old Selectrics-those fifty pound overbuilt monsters with stainless steel guts-still soldier on. You can still walk into most office supply stores and buy ribbons. When was the last time you saw floppy discs in a store?
I have six Selectrics, but my pride and joy is a gem rebuilt by Chuck Furrer. When IBM wanted units refurbished for their exhibits, they called Chuck. This rare, late model red machine runs factory fresh-which, given Chuck’s magic touch, it fundamentally is.
Does a typewriter make me a better writer? Unfortunately no, as my blog posts attest. But it does make me a happier writer.
First, the creepy part: this book is about computational linguistics, a new science using powerful computer programs to crunch words into dehumanized abstract