I hate the new word processors

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I hate the new word processors that want to tell you, as you’re typing, that you made a mistake. I have to turn off all that crap. It’s like, shut up – I’m thinking now. I will worry about that sort of error later. I’m a human being. I can still read this, even though it’s wrong. You stupid machine, the fact that you can’t is irrelevant to me.

~ Ellen Ullman

15 thoughts on “I hate the new word processors”

  1. I have Word for Mac 16.16.2, and it’s the last time that I’ll buy it.

    I’ve used Word for decades, I could make it sing. Then the latest update made many of the things that I did almost impossible.

    Something as simple as showing “Text boundaries” suddenly fills the screen with boxes, where before it would just have discrete brackets at the four corners.

    Plus, even though I bought Word, they force a complete update each month. That’s two gigs of download each time. Thank god I upgraded my DSL to the highest speed for my area, 1 mps, otherwise it would take a day to upgrade each time at my old DSL speed.

    Also, I can’t stand such an emotionally needy word processor. Each time I open a file it “Welcomes” me back, and points to where I last left off. We are not dating, we are not married, and I don’t need that kind of emotional blackmail. HA!

    I use Bean, and TextEdit, and am transitioning to LibreOffice for final assembly of the books. I routinely strip the work file down to pure TXT. It’s the only way to strip out all the hidden stuff that Word puts in, and strips away all the deleted stuff.

    To be safe, I will open the file in BBEDIT to see any gremlins. I’ve had to repair files countless times.

    Instead of using a complex system to write the prose, I’m keeping things as simple as possible, because I have seen over the years how those complex systems go away and I am stuck with a file I can’t open any more. Luckily LibreOffice has been able to open just about every old file that I kept “just in case”.

    I’m also starting to be bothered by MacOS. Mojave is a mess. DarkMode. Really? I was sitting trying to work and the light level kept radically fluctuating. I thought my system was dying. I’ve had to hunt through and turn off so many pointless options that make it impossible to use.

    Grumble, grumble…

    • Protests like yours are the reason I’m still on Word 2000. 😉 They change things just to change them, not to fix problems …

      There is no reason a word processor needs to be updated monthly – or even yearly for that matter – other than to keep control and force you to upgrade by at some point killing what you’ve paid for.

  2. I write in notepad. It’s simple, it gets the words on screen. It makes my darling husband want to scream, when he has to format it.

    But I’ve yet to hear anyone wax nostalgic for the days of “Clippy” popping up and trying to “help” write your documents in Word. There’s a reason it went away!

  3. “the fact that you can’t is irrelevant to me.”

    Seems like it’s very relevant to her. She fiddled around to turn off the mechanism, and she she wrote this short tirade and published it.

  4. I don’t understand why people always see these suggestions as antagonistic. I think of the system as a somewhat slow assistant. They get it right sometimes, but they are not smart enough to get it right often. I appreciate the good and pass on the bad. The system is often wrong, but one good suggestion is worth a lot of rejected bad suggestions.

  5. Me too. I get used to the locations of the functions I use and then a new version comes out and I have to learn where everything is all over.

    I’m happy with Word 2003.

    • Plus, sometimes I break the rules on purpose.

      Yes, this.

      Plus the fact that most of the called out spelling errors are no such thing, especially if you write SFF. I used to patiently feed names and SF/fantasy words into my word processor’s custom spelling dictionary, but I haven’t done that in decades. Bleep it. I’m a good speller, and my copyeditor can catch whatever I miss here and there. Having that stupid machine call me out on BS non-mistakes just raises my blood pressure.

      And don’t even get me started on grammar checkers that think we’re all writing for newspapers, where short, declarative sentences are the epitomy of excellence one hundred percent of the time. Good grief. :/

      First thing I do when a word processor “upgrades” is turn all that crap off.


      • “I used to patiently feed names and SF/fantasy words into my word processor’s custom spelling dictionary …”

        Word 2000 – right-click ‘add’. Then for us really lazy types point a shorthand or un-caped spelling at the new word as well. 😉

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