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Death To The Dancing Paperclip

May 5, 2005

Has anyone else noticed that with each new rendition of Windows, particularly in MS Word, the "help" factor (otherwise known as the "idiot" factor) keeps getting ratcheted up? MS Word used to be a very basic, stripped down word processing solution. That was great. We thought for ourselves.

Today, creating a document in MS Word involves a spasm-inducing mess of happy characters parading animatedly across the screen, mysterious functions that cause certain words to change colors and blink for no apparent reason and mysterious lines that swarm through your document horizontally and vertically with no reasonable means to remove them.

Did one person who worked on the document use the "track changes" function? If so, forget it...you're lost forever, even if it's been turned off. You can never completely obliterate the the stentorian messages that this function dredges up. "You changed a word!" I know. "Did you want to change that word?" Yes. "Did you consider the ramifications of what will happen if you change that word?" "Do you REALLY want to eliminate that formatting? Consider the feelings of the person who wrote that block of text!"

I wish there was a single button called "Piss Off And Leave Me Alone, MS Word" that would immediately give me an utterly blank, totally unformatted, all-but-basic-features-free, dancing paperclip-less document, minus the spelling and grammar cybernannies.

Are you listening, Microsoft?

TES




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