Wake up, Polly Parrot.

 











I Say
by Brian Plante

Hello. Testing. 1 2 3. Jeez this thing really works. This is gonna be great. New paragraph. I said new paragraph. Damn.

Okay I think I’ve got it now. It’ll probably take some getting used 2 so bare with me. I’m trying out this new voice recognition soft wear and if it works like they say it does I’ll never have 2 type another word again exclamation point. The mechanics of writing sure have come along way. Only a few centuries ago, note 2 myself check when the typewriter was invented, all writers worked in longhand. Ah chew. I don’t think I could have been a writer back then lacking the patients and penmanship 2 work that way. When the typewriter was invented it had a profound impact on the way people wrote increasing the speed and legibility of the writers output. Even 15 years ago with only a typewriter I couldn’t have been a very productive writer with my pitiful typing skills. Ah chew.

No it was the advent of the personal computer that opened up the world of writing 4 me and a legion of others. No longer wood I waist reams of paper trying in vane 2 get through a page without typing errors. The thought of writing without a spelling checker cut and paste and the ability 2 fix all my mistakes be 4 they ever hit paper isn’t just a luxury. It’s an absolute necessity.

Daddy who are you talking 2. No one honey. Ah chew. Just the computer. Is that the new program you got at comp you essay. Yeah it works pretty good. Sea. I’m writing an article 4 the bunch back in new jersey. Oh. Mommy says you shouldn’t stay up 2 late if your sick. It’s okay I’m almost done. Where was I.

But the science of writing moves [ further/farther ] along every year. The next big invention was the mouse which freed us from having 2 remember all those arcane keystroke commands allowing us 2 just point and drag the words about on the screen like so much raw building material. Then there was the trackball and glide point devices 2 reduce the carpal tunnel syndrome that the mouse gave us. The traditional keyboard was enhanced with all sorts of exotic designs that put the keys in unfamiliar locations which somehow promised better typing efficiency. And then there’s that funny pencil eraser thingy that sticks out of the middle of some lap top keyboards. All these advances promised 2 make entering words on paper easier. A few of them actually worked exclamation point.

But all of those things can go in your desk drawer now. This voice recognition program has 2 be the biggest single advancement in writing mechanics since the invention of the pencil sharpener delete sharpener. Now I don’t have 2 worry about remembering obscure commands or mouses, note 2 myself check if it should be mouses or mice 4 the computer, or funny keyboards any more. I just talk and it types like in that TV commercial. Can you believe it question mark. This is not some silly April fools joke but the real macoy .

So from hear on in the thoughts flow directly from my brain 2 the screen and on 2 paper without my lifting a finger. No more fumbling a round. I’m sure this can only have a positive affect on my writing career. And writing science fiction with a system that seems like something out of star trek just seems appropriate don’t you think question mark.

Sure writing is more than just mastering the mechanics of getting words on paper. I am in awe of the old dash time writers who worked in longhand and with typewriters but it still takes a lot of perseverance and a bit of talent if you want 2 succeed at writing. The equipment doesn’t make me a better writer but it allows me 2 concentrate on the story not the machines. With tools like this voice recognition software practically anyone can be a writer now. Jeez I’d hate 2 be a slush pile reader when this thing catches on. Oops . Delete last sentence.

Copyright © 1998 Brian Plante, first appeared in The New Jersey Graveline , April 1998.

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