I immediately pictured R.A. Pardon as a lab-coated technician with a clipboard, putting her through her paces before she'd be released into the working world. At Remington headquarters in 1970... was there
"THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG!" R.A. Pardon barks at her. "NOW KNEES UP! AND DOUBLE-TIME!"
Thomas Murphy kept that certificate of achievement she earned. And the instructional manual, too.
But why would he, I wondered...?
Because he thought someone else (the next owner?) might want the documentation that she graduated top of her class?
Because she had a future that would go beyond Thomas Murphy? Because she would go on
Is that why he—or someone—packaged her up with all her paperwork and sent to her off to her next assignment?
Yes. That's why.
The Sperry Rand Remington Ten Forty would outlast Thomas Murphy. Or at least his need for her.
* * *
You might read this as a story of the stoicism and staying power of a machine made of metal and gears and no electrical components, chips, or fussy CPUs.
(Can you imagine a MacBook languishing on a cruddy floor for years still able to perform right out of its case? Are you kidding? That MacBook would need a meticulous cleanup and gentle pampering and coaxing and a therapist for the emotional trauma of that cruddy floor... and even then it would be
Or you might read this as a story of the durability of typewriters. The nostalgia for a time when a machine didn't need anything more than an annual tune-up and a de-sticky-fying to work. And—if you're old enough—the nostalgia of learning how to
But no. That's not it.
Instead, this story is about the
staying power of something more lasting than typewriters or gears or any machine.
Instead, this story is about the invincible, indestructible power of words themselves. And the need for writers who care.
We make all the difference.
* * *
Let's wrap this up with a few things you need to know this week.
THE END OF $WORD
Some of you might remember my big experiment with my personal social token, $WORD.
It was amazing! Until... it wasn't.
I created $WORD on the Rally.io network. Rally, unfortunately, is going the way of the double spaces after each period... in other words: Bye,
If you bought or were given $WORD coin, thank you so much for the support. I'm grateful for it. I'm sorry that this experiment didn't pan out as we'd hoped.
>>> If you are a $WORD coin holder, you need to take action by January 20, 2023 <<<. Right there is what you need to do.
EVERYBODY WRITES WRITING TIP OF THE FORTNIGHT
AnalyzeMyWriting will... well, analyze your writing to show instances where you use passive sentences or you repeat words too often.
The free tool also gives you a read on something called "lexical density."
I don't know what lexical density is, but I picture words struggling and thrashing in a deep, dark ocean and you—a lifeguard-writer—come along with a pair of
life-saving water wings to let your words float inside sentences, buoyant as a jellyfish.
Jan 25 The 10 Things Great Marketing Writers Do That Set Them Apart [webinar] In this event for PRO [paid] MarketingProfs members, I'll walk you through the writing process I use—and the things you can do to stand out. If you're a PRO member, save your seat here.
May 1-3 Creator Economy Expo [Cleveland, Ohio] If you run
a content-first business... this is the event to be at! I'll be there along with Jesse Cole (Savannah Bananas), Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi, and more inspiring/smart creators. Super early bird pricing ends on January 27: FRIENDOFANN gets you ANOTHER 100 clams off any pass.
And speaking of
The Thing I'm Most Excited for This Year. (This year is going to
be off the charts!)
DEPARTMENT OF SHENANIGANS
For the biggest cat people only.