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Misadventures of the Keyboard Type December 12, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
13 comments

IMGP4187Typos.  A fact of life?  A simple disconnect?

Or something more sinister?

One morning, instead of typing what I asked, my fingers demonstrated that they have a mind of their own.

I thought “steal” and they typed “still.

As if they had collectively decided that I was thinking in English, but with a French accent.

Which would make sense if they were French, I suppose.  But they aren’t.

In fact, my fingers have spent very little time in France ~ only about ten days in 1975.  Not enough time to throw them off, I should think.  Of course, they hung around a few Conversational French classes during our college years, but no more than me ~ which means they missed more such classes than they attended (and they have a D on their transcript to prove it).

No, I don’t think a foreign language barrier caused the miscommunication.

I know!  Maybe the miscommunication wasn’t really a miscommunication at all.

Maybe my fingers were being contrary (like surly teenagers) by disregarding my instructions, all the while pretending to play along.

Instead of stopping mid-sentence and refusing to budge further (which would have alerted me to a direct challenge to my authority as CEO of this operation), they dragged themselves slowly across the keyboard, striking out at keys that had nothing to do with what I was actually trying to say.

Sneaky little . . .digits!

Wait!  Maybe that’s the problem.  Maybe they feel that I have not been respectful enough toward them.  Maybe they have decided to misplay  keys here and there until I demonstrate my sincere respect for their efforts each day on my behalf.

Hmm . . . maybe I need to start using the magic word PLEASE whenever I need to have my thoughts transcribed.

Assuming intended insurrection as the cause of typos raises a related and somewhat troubling issue:  would our writing efforts come to a screeching halt if we had to spell out each thought precisely while remembering to accompany our instructions with the word PLEASE?  I expect so.

By way of example, let’s focus on something as simple and uncerebral as showering in the morning:

Right hand.

Yes.

Turn on the hot water.

What’s the magic word?

Please.

OK, then . . .  Wait!  How hot do you want it?

Not too hot, not too cold.  Somewhere in the middle.

How’s this?

Fine, thanks.  Now, please hand me the shampoo.

You want me to reach up there for the shampoo?

Yes.  I want to wash my hair.

You washed it yesterday.  It looks fine.

Thanks for the compliment.  Now, PLEASE hand me the shampoo.

In a minute, I’m busy.

Or consider the following morning ritual which could result in no one getting any where very fast:

Hey, feet, wake up. 

What???

Would you mind walking into the kitchen so I can get some coffee?

Sure, sure ~ as soon as we wake up. 

Great.

Got any coffee?  That would speed the process along.

That’s just it.  I want you to walk me out to the kitchen so I can get some coffee.

OK.  Just a minute . . . zzzz

Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

Good thing we are able, both as writers and as human beings, to  maneuver our thoughts and various body parts around, without first having to ask permission or stand in line waiting our turn.

Turning our attention back to those pesky typos (whether caused by simple disconnect, innocent miscommunication, or more sinister inner rebellion), what I told my fingers to type that morning, compared with what they actually typed, changed the meaning entirely ~ from a sentence that made sense to a nonsensical sentence.

Hence, the need to carefully proofread our work.  More than once.

Why more than once?  Because our eyes often are no more reliable than our fingers.

They nonchalantly roll right over typos without bothering to give us a heads up about what they’ve seen ~ assuming they noticed the mistake at all.

Perhaps our eyes, like our fingers, feel overworked,  overworded, or both . . .

In any event, I expect that the real blame for the typos this morning lies neither with my recalcitrant fingers, nor my overworked eyes, but with the English language itself ~ designed as it is with precarious pitfalls lurking  around every bend in the road and each turn of phrase.

No wonder our brains cannot adequately and accurately communicate to our fingers and eyes what we wish to convey given the treacherous  minefield of homonyms and homophones littering the English language, even in simple sentences such as the following:

Still angry, he proceeded to steal the steel still (and its contents, of course).

Given the idiosyncracies of the English language, it’s rather amazing that any of us ever get it write right when we right  write.

Related post:  Which Witch Ate Eight Nome Gnomes? * Either Sonya needs Hearing Aids, or I need a Speech Therapist (Reflections from a Cloudy Mirror)

Dark Clouds December 12, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness, Nature, Poetry.
10 comments

IMGP2904bThe magic
Of this vast Universe
Captures
My imagination

The mystery
Of its ancient stars
Holds hostage
My attention and wonder

Until dark clouds
Pressed down
At the horizon
Roll in

Obscuring my view

Related posts:  Yesterday (Turtle Memoirs) * Looking Back, Take 2 (The Only Cin) * Star Light, Star Bright (Reflections From A Cloudy Mirror)

The Blizzard of Two Thousand Ten December 12, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Poetry, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
23 comments

220px-The_Love_of_Zero,_35mm_film_Robert_Florey1928May we never share a mundane, flannel love
Celebrated with simple-minded things
Or say “I love you to the moon and back
Unless we’re wearing plastic Cracker Jack rings

While drinking Tang and eating applesauce
Purchased at the Seven-11 store
During the blizzard of two thousand ten
When even Kilimanjaro cried “No more!”

That was the year the turnpike closed
And scurvy ran rampant everywhere
We used water buffalo as taxis
And fragrant hand-sanitizer filled the air

As the snow piled higher and deeper
And spring remained hidden by winter’s wrath
We huddled and cuddled inside for warmth
As we discovered love’s blissful path

* * * * *

Challenge:  Write a Love Note (max 200 words) in any format, using at least five of the following nouns: Seven-11, scurvy, turnpike, flannel, Kilimanjaro, blizzard, applesauce, Tang, water buffalo, and hand-sanitizer.