Processing Words

I remember when I was younger I really wanted a typewriter. When I went to high school, I faced the challenge of having to actually use one for my college applications (my high school wanted to make sure students had the experience of using different tools for writing). But the problem with this word-processor is that you can’t go back on your words…well, you can, but not every typewriter has a white out option. Simply put, the function of being able to edit and correct ourselves as we write¬†has transformed the way we process our words, leaving no trace of our errors behind.

…as a consequence we conceive of print and the digital as rival or successive forms rather than as elements of a process wherein relations between the two media (at the level of both individual and collective practice) are considerably more dynamic and contingent.

Dr. Kirschenbaum, at the University of Maryland, makes as strong argument for the transformation of word processors over time. Tracked changes are also a new element brought upon by word processors that text processors can’t quite conceive as a collaborative work. In fact, I find it incredibly useful when I am editing memorandums at work and need to provide the suggested changes for acceptance to someone who is at a higher level. The ability to mark and track changes as we go in a document changes our perception of authorship in writing.

However, sadly the precepts within these word processors such as Google Docs and Word have built-in settings (such as formatted text). The benefit of text editors is that they make your words more transferrable with code. I can attest to this because several times in the past, I’ve tried to open an old word document (with no code) into a regular notepad or an updated Word, and it completely loses the text or is unable to open it (turning the characters into weird symbols). With a plain text editor, there isn’t as much of a web of problems.

Text editors allow for you to have flexibility and code as you please without limitations to make the words look the way you want. A lot of my friends use Sublime Text which I will admit is one of my favorites as well. I think that overall, its feature in allowing the variables to be changed if necessary is a huge plus. The split-editing is particularly useful when trying to be efficient with your code so that you can do it from multiple monitors and spot any errors immediately.

I love Wikipedia and the open forum it provides; however, it also means that anyone at anytime could incorrectly delete or add text.

Keep in mind: sources like Wikipedia are not perfect and do not advertise themselves as so.