I almost did it again.
I nearly started typing my blog into the blog spot on Weebly. Sunday I wrote a blog that pleased me, and Weebly ate it. Not that Weebly is special that way. Through the decades, AOL, Yahoo, and other internet services have eaten thousands of words I’ve written. Some of them were probably good. Others, not so much. But they are all gone into the ether, because of programming glitches created by non-writers.
So I rewrote my last blog, and parts were better than the original, and parts were worst. But more to the point, parts were lost.
I should have learned long ago, not to trust any program tied directly to the internet. At least writing in the privacy of my own computer I have some illusion control. Unless I’m using MicroSoft Word (cursed be they), which is the enemy of writers everywhere.
Of all the countless crimes MS Word has committed, the one that angers me the most is making English harder to read by waging war against double consonants.
When I was my daughter’s age there was a reading rule that said, “double consonants tell you that the preceding vowel is pronounced as a short vowel. A single consonant tells you that the preceding vowel is pronounced as a long vowel.” Imagine that; a coherent guide to some pronunciation of English. The Word spellchecker now invariably claims that words such as “labelling” are spelled “labeling”. That is unhelpful to the reader, and looks wrong to me. And it has infected book publishing style sheets to where it is becoming common place. I own tens of thousands of books that adhere to the above rule; but modern works are destined to confuse future generations with their digital blindness to the rule.
All of which is lead up to another issue. In his book ‘You Are Not a Gadget’ Jaron Lanier explains how the computer protocol MIDI was created to capture certain kinds of music, and became the industry default for all kinds of music, no matter how ill-suited it is to stringed (and other) instruments.
Much the same thing has happened with the epub protocol, and nearly all ereader protocols for that matter. At least one IT professional who makes his living creating ebooks claims that the entire format is designed to foil poetry books. The only thing harder to turn into an ebook, he claims, are math text books. A protocol designed for conventional prose has infected all ebooks.
Despite which, three of my poetry books exist as ebooks. Tomorrow, ‘Modern Poems of Pennsic’ will join them. Let me know how it works for you.