A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital by Dennis Baron

By Dennis Baron

Pcs, now the writer's software of selection, are nonetheless blamed via skeptics for quite a few ills, from rushing writing as much as the purpose of recklessness, to complicating or trivializing the writing method, to destroying the English language itself.

</em>A larger Pencil</em> places our advanced, still-evolving hate-love courting with pcs and the web into viewpoint, describing how the electronic revolution affects our studying and writing practices, and the way the most recent applied sciences vary from what got here sooner than. The publication explores our use of desktops as writing instruments in mild of the background of verbal exchange know-how, a background of the way we adore, worry, and really use our writing technologies--not simply desktops, but additionally typewriters, pencils, and clay pills. Dennis Baron indicates that just about all writing implements--and even writing itself--were greeted first and foremost with anxiousness and outrage: the printing press disrupted the "almost religious connection" among the author and the web page; the typewriter was once "impersonal and noisy" and might "destroy the artwork of handwriting." either pencils and pcs have been created for projects that had not anything to do with writing. Pencils, crafted by way of woodworkers for marking up their forums, have been fast repurposed through writers and artists. the pc crunched numbers, now not phrases, until eventually writers observed it because the subsequent writing laptop. Baron additionally explores the hot genres that the pc has introduced: e-mail, the moment message, the net web page, the web publication, social-networking pages like MySpace and fb, and communally-generated texts like Wikipedia and the city Dictionary, let alone YouTube.

Here then is an interesting historical past of our tangled dealings with a variety of writing tools, from old papyrus to the trendy machine. With dozens of illustrations and lots of colourful anecdotes, the e-book will enthrall an individual drawn to language, literacy, or writing.

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About the Author:

William C. Martell has written seventeen produced motion pictures for cable and video together with 3 HBO global Premieres, Made For Showtimes, 3 CineMax Premieres, motion pictures for united states community, and so forth. Reviewer David Nuttycombe of The Washington publish calls him "The Robert Towne of made for cable movies" and he was once the single non-nominated screenwriter pointed out on Siskel & Ebert's 1997 Oscar designated "If We Picked The Winners". He doesn't educate screenwriting, he writes for a living.

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Extra resources for A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution

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From the Unabomber’s ransom letter to the New York Times, reprinted in the San Francisco Examiner, April 26, 1995, and retrieved from that newspaper’s website. ] Archeologists and historians may have been grateful that they weren’t in the Unabomber’s sights, but Ted Kaczynski was wrong in his assessment of humanists on two counts. Humanists can be harmful, and, more to the point, humanists are heavily involved in technology, particularly the writing technologies that the computer has enabled. But since the Unabomber seemed ready to kill anyone, technocrat or not, just to make his point, I for one was afraid to speak out, at least until a plausible suspect was in custody.

For example, it can be used to wash dirty clothes. We found information on how to get out all sorts of pesky stains on our clothes (predictably, we were told to pretreat stains with Tide before washing them in yet more Tide). Perhaps conventional print media could have conveyed the same message: buy our product, use as much of it as you can, then go out and buy some more. But the Tide website offered both an amount of text and a level of interactivity that magazine ads or soap boxes couldn’t begin to equal.

Manufacturers of pencils. Until the nineteenth century, the best pencil graphite (called plumbago, from the Latin, “to act like lead”) came from 36 ■ A Better Pencil Borrowdale, in the Cumberland Valley in England. There were other graphite deposits around the world, but no other ore was as pure as Borrowdale’s. Impure graphite crumbled or produced a scratchy line. In the later eighteenth century, the Borrowdale graphite deposits began to run low, and exports were curtailed. After the French Revolution, with his supply of English graphite embargoed, the French pencil maker Nicholas-Jacques Conté learned to produce a workable writing medium by grinding domestic graphite, mixing it with clay and water, and forcing the mixture into wooden casings which were then baked to harden the lead (this account of pencil history draws largely on Petroski 1990).

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