Get A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital PDF

By Dennis Baron

ISBN-10: 0195388445

ISBN-13: 9780195388442

Pcs, now the writer's device of selection, are nonetheless blamed by way of skeptics for quite a few ills, from dashing writing as much as the purpose of recklessness, to complicating or trivializing the writing method, to destroying the English language itself.

A higher Pencil places our advanced, still-evolving hate-love dating with pcs and the web into viewpoint, describing how the electronic revolution affects our studying and writing practices, and the way the newest applied sciences range from what got here prior to. The publication explores our use of desktops as writing instruments in gentle of the historical past of conversation expertise, a historical past of the way we like, worry, and really use our writing technologies--not simply desktops, but in addition typewriters, pencils, and clay drugs. Dennis Baron exhibits that just about all writing implements--and even writing itself--were greeted initially with anxiousness and outrage: the printing press disrupted the "almost non secular connection" among the author and the web page; the typewriter was once "impersonal and noisy" and could "destroy the paintings of handwriting." either pencils and desktops have been created for projects that had not anything to do with writing. Pencils, crafted via woodworkers for marking up their forums, have been fast repurposed via writers and artists. the pc crunched numbers, now not phrases, till writers observed it because the subsequent writing computing device. Baron additionally explores the hot genres that the pc has introduced: e mail, the moment message, the internet web page, the weblog, social-networking pages like MySpace and fb, and communally-generated texts like Wikipedia and the city Dictionary, let alone YouTube.

Here then is an engaging background of our tangled dealings with quite a lot of writing tools, from historical papyrus to the trendy computing device. With dozens of illustrations and lots of colourful anecdotes, the publication will enthrall an individual attracted to language, literacy, or writing.

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Additional resources for A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution

Sample text

Factors such as age, prior experience [Rosenbaum, 1991] and native language [Isokoski and Linden, 2004], are known to impact motor skill acquisition and performance in text input. In regard to continuous shape writing, some users generally hand write neater and draw better than others. To some extent the spatial ability of drawing appears to be related to users’ amount of practice and general interest in the task. For example, Kozbelt [2001] shows that artists copy line drawings significantly better than non-artists.

Instead, in continuous shape writing the software keyboard serves as a visual map for the specification task. The user articulates a pen-gesture pattern by moving from letter key to letter key in the intended word. Continuous shape writing aids users in the specification task by presenting a visual map of the keyboard to the user. In contrast, marking menus do not guide users in the specification task: when the marking menu is not revealed the display is blank. Marking menus only aid the user in the navigation task.

Words appear in the edit buffer to the right and pushes existing words to the left. When words cross the left edge they are synthesized into keyboard key strokes and injected into the operating system’s key stroke dispatch queue. 1 Discrete and Continuous Shape Writing for Text Entry and Control Correcting a Confusion Error With continuous shape writing, words are written on a word-by-word basis. This means an error results in an entire word being incorrect. The system alleviates this problem by providing several pen-gesture functions for intuitive editing.

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A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution by Dennis Baron


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