Friday, May 6, 2016

3,200 WORDS, more or less

Tpying Lesson

Every year about this time, savvy WRODsters — or WORDsters  . . . there’s something wrong with my kyebord. SH&*$!#$%^&*!

OK. Take a breath. When you have a keyboard issue, you t-y-p-e-l-i-k-e-this so you don’t have to back up and start over agian. S$%^&*()(*&T!

You rabid copyeditors out there — and you know who you are — understand this. We HAVE to find a way to back up and fix thigns. SHRTYUIO*&^%$!!!

Last week, while I was sitting at a sidewalk café in Arcata, California, the wind emptied about 165 gallons of rainwater off the awning on me and my laptop. My tech guy says that’s niot a $%^&^%$ goo thing. 

Old guys will remember WiteOut and dittos, and using razorblades to correct typos. There is no computer keyboard equivalent, but I am relearning s-l-o-w t-y-p-i-n-ng dam)*&^%^&.

OK. OK. OK. So. 

Every year about this time, the nice men in white coats from St. Mumbles show up in the road to trundle the WORD away. 

This is the final WORD of the WORD’s 20th year. Conservatively, maybe 3,200 WORDs since 1995.

As soon as I get final grades in for my copy editors and feature writers, it also will be the end of a teaching career that started in Minnesota in 1979. Don’t know how many students that is, but it’s a lot of damn typos.

For those of you who worry about these things, relax. The WORD is going back to The St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose — again! — for the summer, but undoubtedly will escape again in the Fall for Season 21. 

Professor Pease, however, will be staying on at St. Mumbles in the Fall as part of the JV rocking chair squad. The Fighting Rockers!

Which brings the Perfesser to his final Werd: 

“Why do we love our writing teachers so much? Why, years later, do we think of them with such gratitude? I think it’s because they come along when we need them most, when we are young and vulnerable and are tentatively approaching this craft that our culture doesn’t have much respect for, but which we are beginning to love. They have so much power. They could mock us, disregard us, use us to prop themselves up. But our teachers, if they are good, instead do something almost holy, which we never forget: they take us seriously. They accept us as new members of the guild. They tolerate the under-wonderful stories we write, the dopy things we say, our shaky-legged aesthetic theories, our posturing, because they have been there themselves.

“We say: I think I might be a writer.

“They say: Good for you. Proceed.” 

—George Saunders, writer, “My Writing Education: A Timeline,” The New Yorker, October 22, 2015 (Thanks to alert WORDster Steve Marston)

Editorial Comment: That’s all. See you next time.

PeezPix by Ted Pease


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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

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