Magazine article Communication World

Rebuttal from the Next Generation: Get a Life or a Hard-Hat

Magazine article Communication World

Rebuttal from the Next Generation: Get a Life or a Hard-Hat

Article excerpt

I have this warm picture in my head of my father, circa 1960 -- hunkered down over his manual typewriter, the sweat pouring down his face illuminated by the light of the kerosene lamp....

No wonder you weren't home a lot when I was growing up, Dad, the writing you describe probably took up 18 hours a day.

As a member of the "computer babies" generation, I can't imagine expending that kind of energy on what is a sedentary, solitary occupation.

So, if you're looking for a vocation that provides an aerobic workout and gets your clothes dirty, might I respectfully suggest construction. Not only does it meet those requirements, you also get to wear a near hat. Plus wardrobe expenditures tend to go down.

And, if you miss those days of drawing road maps in red ink, the folks at Rand McNally could use some help these days (though they might prefer that you use a pencil).

Today, the computer is an essential part of writing -- replacing the pencil, typewriter, red pen and carbon paper in one swoop. I haven't used a typewriter for anything but an envelope in the past five years.

Yes, there are some detractors who believe that computers encourage mediocre writing, that the easier it is to put your thoughts down, the shallower those thoughts must be. To those, may I deferentially remind you: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

On my worst days as a writer, I never killed a tree.

Instead, my first draft is also my last, as I can insert, delete, and move words and paragraphs all over any given document. …

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