Editorial: Enough of this WYSIWYG! I'd Rather Be Surprised
Scotto - 2001 October 3
WYSIWYG is a ridiculous acronym. I might as well abbreviate this entire damn article, sentence by sentence. It would be just as brief, and just as ridiculous! For example, I might tell you something as follows: “WYSIWYG”GPMIT. No, not Grand Prix Grads Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “What You See Is What You Get” Greatly Provokes My Ire Today.
I refuse to work with the Help-Desk anymore. The only thing they do all day is gab on the phone like a bunch of adolescent girls.
For those of you who have not yet grasped the fanatically fantastical concept of WYSIWYG, let me illustrate it for you: Long ago, in an office much like mine, men and women would slave away over "terminals" connected to a "mainframe". These mainframes may or may not have existed. They are mythical beasts known only for consuming small paper cards and then shitting them out -- the cards riddled with holes. No one knows what then became of the little scraps of paper that were punched from the larger cards, which is why the existence of mainframes is dubious to me. They would have left artifacts of punch-dung wherever they processed, but to this day none have been found. This is similar to the mystery of donut holes. That mystery was then solved by the advent of Munchkins. Perhaps one day some petite versions of punch-cards will be found, and we can learn more about mainframes. Instead, for now, I have digressed.
Just earlier I found my mouse to be unresponsive! After agitating it extensively, I overturned it to find the visage of a lady pasted to the bottom, covering the mouse-ball! Heathens! Tricking me with their ruses at every turn!
These people with their aforementioned "terminals" would type in reports and letters and the like, and would print them. The printouts they received were little more than what a typewriter could accomplish. Later, along with the personal computer, came "fonts". Yes, very important. The trouble was, the screens of the day couldn't display these "fonts". They could use only the boring DOS system font. You could set fonts, but you wouldn't know for certain how it would look until you printed it out.
Those days were tremendous! It was exciting watching the dot-matrix printer gyrate to and fro as line by line of dots were printed, seeing a book report or sign grow onto the page! Oh how I yearn for those times!
Why do these people keep sneezing? It is impossible to concentrate on my column as people eject air and mucus into the air from all around me! I demand all my coworkers be muzzled and treated with tonics!
My stapler just fell apart.
I envision a day in the future when WYSIWYG will be tolerated no longer! A word processor will exist which changes font and character size at random on the screen, but then prints in a completely reasonable format! A world in which there is still anticipation and surprise! Is that too much to ask?
Massachusetts is a horrendous name for a state. Woe to those early founders of our nation who permitted such a word to pollute our proud effigy of stars and stripes! Also, that state is incredibly difficult to navigate, and nothing is open even at the most sane of hours. I demand Massachusetts secede from the Union immediately and all the citizens therein volunteer to be pissed on by the populace of the remainder of the country! Also, the Dakotas and “New” Mexico must not be allowed to continue.
Next week's editorial shall be on the subject of: Plays, Why I Keep Writing Them and Making People Read Them.