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Diatribe: Twitter Killed Cher And Teri Hatcher.

04/10/2013

TwitterSignSorryI took a typing class in high school.  Long before computers were even a flicker in someone’s imagination, we learned to use a keyboard.  I’m talking before correct-o-type and liquid paper.  I learned to make carbon copies with actual carbon paper.  I imagine anyone under the age of forty has never even seen a sheet of carbon paper.  I was quite the typist and I’ll never forget the speed tests!  The following test in particular, which uses every letter of the alphabet, was a favorite of mine.

“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy sleeping dog.  The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy sleeping dog.  The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy sleeping dog.  The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy sleeping dog.”

My top speed back then was upwards of 110 wpm.  There was no backspace or delete key and the concept of copy/paste was alien.  I should be rich and famous by now.

Young people today don’t have to worry about typing errors.  In fact, it often appears that they’re encouraged.  I blame Twitter.  The social networking service that enables users to send and receive text-based messages of up to 135 characters, known as “tweets”, has all but eliminated the “typo”.  Working primarily from cell phones and typing with their thumbs, users have created new and interesting words in an effort to use fewer characters per tweet.

This week, their system backfired a bit when the hashtag #nowthatchersdead started trending after news broke of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s passing.

The intention was for the hashtag to read #NowThatcher’sDead but for many inexperienced users it read as #NowThatCher’sDead and for other, more imaginative users #NowTHatcher’sDead leading many to believe that music superstar Cher, and Teri Hatcher (former star of television’s Desperate Housewives) had passed away.

Not surprisingly, fans of both the singer and the actress were saddened by this news.

I learned many years ago, back in the days before dot matrix printers, that punctuation, capitalization, etc. were just as important to a mistake-free document as the words that it contained.  After all, a misplaced comma in a typing test would lower our grades and a colon instead of a semi-colon in a business letter would mean “starting over”.  Ugh.  It seems that even today these details can be very important.

I imagine Cher and Teri Hatcher, both alive and well, would have appreciated a little more proofreading last Monday.

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5 Comments
  1. I could kinda sorta see the Cher business–though a nanosecond Google search pre-Tweet would have solved that issue–I wouldn’t have gone the T.Hatcher route!
    Plus, has Cher truly died, Twitter would have broken down.

    Like

  2. I also learned to type in the dark ages before even Selectric typewriters where mistakes meant starting over too. I only use abbreviations for the most obvious of words because I hate the thought of misunderstandings. Although this was kind of comical!

    Like

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