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Monday, 15 August 2011

My Naughty Computer

By Jackie Harrison

In the 11th grade in my high school, we were given two choices for our future education - a college preparatory course or a business course. In order to qualify for a college preparatory course, one had to score at least 118 on an IQ test and carry over As and Bs from the tenth grade.

I chose the college preparatory route which did not offer typing. Most people at the time believed typing was meant for secretaries, not for professional college graduates. College graduates hired secretaries to do the typing for them.

How could anyone have known then that hand-written papers, letters, notes and stories would be replaced in our society by sophisticated technology using Twitter, Facebook, email and the web? If I could have seen into the future, I would have insisted on typing as an elective. Now I am stuck with hunting and pecking my way through cyberspace using a computer that will not cooperate.

Let me explain my current status.

My computer has invented a few new words. Orange has been replaced by "ornage.” You and yours, the words I use most often, are now spelled "yu" and "yurs.” For some reason had comes out "ahd."

When I sign Love, it is always written LOve. (I hope my friends and relatives believe this means I love them a lot.) Sometimes when the computer thinks I don't strike the keys hard enough, a few letters are left untyped.

I wish I had my old white keyboard back and that my vision was a little better. These might help. I have muddled over whether my brain is too fast for my fingers or my fingers are too fast for my brain. I analyzed this thoroughly and finally arrived at my hypothesis:

Since "had" appears as "ahd" and your appears as "yur," this must mean that my brain works faster than my fingers. No wonder my letters appear out of order. My brain is just too fast. It doesn't matter anyway when the computer is not my friend.

I have always been a top-notch speller so why should I have to use spellcheck or pay attention to Microsoft Works when it underlines in red any word it thinks I have misspelled? My computer only wants to embarrass me with these programs and destroy my self-esteem.

I wrote an article and saved it under My Documents. I wanted to cut and paste it to an email. Someone gave me specific instructions about how to do this.

Part of the instructions said to right click on the mouse and hold it down until the entire document was highlighted. The instructions also said to keep trying if the entire section didn't remain highlighted. My ornery computer would not highlight anything, forcing me to send it anyway. Just for revenge, the computer destroyed the document that had taken me so long to type and sent it to outer space.

When sending notes to my family members and sometimes others who know me well, I seldom edit what I write. I know they will usually ignore my typing errors.

Recently I sent an email to my daughter about joining a women's association of nine-hole golfers. I explained how the group sponsored various kinds of tournaments and gave us the privilege of playing with other "nine-holers" at neighboring golf courses. I was very complimentary about this group of women in my correspondence.

I know how busy my daughter is (this is why I jokingly call her "El Presidente"), so I am accustomed to her short replies. But I was shocked when I received her email response this time.

I couldn't imagine what I had written that would warrant the reply. I found my email under "Sent Mail" and studied it carefully.

My naughty computer was at work again! It wrote, "I play golf with a group of women at the country club who belong to the non hole group." No wonder she answered with, "Mom, what kind of women are THESE?"


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Hmmm, Jackie, I have the same problem with my computer! So do my friends: my co-teacher sent the following out via email to ALL our 8th grade parents when we taught JR HIGH together - "And Mrs. Killer and I know we will have a wonderful year with your children here at Kenmore Jr. High!" (My name was "Koler at the time.)

Jackie: I swear at my computer all the time, yet with my dyslexia I can't really decide who makes the mistakes but seems no matter how much I proof read, all my essay's go out with at least one mistake. I think I need help somewhere.

Loved it..I typed as a child before school, my Mother thought it was good skill & had an old, old typewriter..she was a whiz..but who could get ready for computers..I came to them late..very late, forced actually in my 60s, type faster than most people, but you sure have to be a proofreader, wish I remembered some of my early "gems" thank god, everyone thought them funny..My Mother would have blushed at some & pondered others...life is nicer when you can get a good laugh out of it..except when you work in direct mail industry...

Jackie, you brought back memories of the choice between college and business. I, too, chose college and had to learn to type when I was in my 40's and needed to go to work.

It didn't help. I still transpose letters and hold the shift key too long and all of my letters end up LOve. You have lots of company with your wayward computer.

Your story is very funny and clever. Thanks for my morning chuckle.

Jackie - Funny story!

There are gremlins in my computer too! Perhaps they are relatives of the "Wall People" or the "Floor and Ceiling People" that appeared in a couple of stories posted in late July. - Sandy

I too chose the college prep course, but my father demanded that I go to the local vocational school at night to learn typing. Little did he know how I'd thank him profusely 50 years later.

Thank God,in the 1930's my Minnesota farming parents said, "Take typing so you've got something to fall back in tough times." Prehistoric Internet connections to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs?

Jackie, very funny story that hits close to home. I had many of your problems until I learned some of the secrets of the Ctrl (control) key.

Holding down the CTRL key and AND the Z key brings a document or whatever back from cyberspace. It restores it to before you started messing with it.

CTRL and A highlights all of it.

Ctrl and C copies it and

CTRL and V pastes it where you want it.

Sometimes.

No9 mystery about why those keys are used either. A for all, C for copy, V for insert--like the V symbol for insertion.

As for Z, I can only think deleting what just disappeared was the LAST (Z) thing you wanted to do.

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