Writing On Computers

I linked yesterday to Jim Fallows' 1982 account of learning to write on a computer. A reader tracks down Russell Baker's little 1987 op-ed on the same theme. Not online, but here's the money quote:

The wonderful thing about writing with a computer instead of a typewriter or a lead pencil is that it's so easy to rewrite that you can make each sentence almost perfect before moving on to the next sentence.

The wonderful thing about writing with a computer instead of a typewriter or a lead pencil is that it's so easy to rewrite that you can make each sentence almost perfect before moving on to the next sentence.

An impressive aspect of using a computer to write with One of the plusses about a computer on which to write Happily, the computer is a marked improvement over both the typewriter and the lead pencil for purposes of literary composition, due to the ease with which rewriting can be effectuated, thus enabling What a marked improvement the computer is for the writer over the typewriter and lead pencil The typewriter and lead pencil were good enough in their day, but if Shakespeare had been able to access a computer with a good writing program If writing friends scoff when you sit down at the computer and say, ''The lead pencil was good enough for Shakespeare One of the drawbacks of having a computer on which to write is the ease and rapidity with which the writing can be done, thus leading to the inclusion of many superfluous terms like ''lead pencil,'' when the single word ''pencil'' would be completely, entirely and utterly adequate.

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