Why, oh why?

What is it about so-called modern technology that makes you want to curl up in a corner and weep or scream — or both?

IS IT really so difficult to change your email address for various accounts? For me it would appear that it is. I’m not exactly a technological dunce; I probably know more about publishing software than you could throw an over-fed, over-watered editor at … as long as you were prepared to drag them out of the local pub/bar first. Beyond that my technological skills, with the exception of cooking, diminish. I can ‘boot-up’ my laptop, turn on the kettle without electrocuting myself, change the fuse in a plug …

I can also sew — and I wish I could sew in my new email address. My adoptive parents were very thoughtful —inefficient, but Christian socialists are like that. They thought I needed to learn how to cook and sew because they had no idea what would become of me otherwise. When I received an Orwell prize as a foreign correspondent I swear I heard their jaws drop and bounce off the floor; and they were sat at the back of the hall. Quite a noise. I’d graduated from a Russell League university with a double first, went on to write a PhD and now I was winning prizes; no wonder my cousins/half-brothers hated me. Actually, my adoptive parents hoped I would become a music teacher like them or an academic (hell no!). Instead I chose journalism. The poor souls were not, necessarily disappointed but they were worried, especially when I started reporting from ‘war/conflict zones’. Epilepsy doesn’t mix too well with gunfire and exploding bombs.


The point is this — and it’s not just because I don’t like long-winded articles; I’ve written a few — but that if you can summarise the point you wish to make in 50 rather than 75 words then you might be half way there.

Computer software is often written and produced by Californian ‘Silicon Valley’ geeks who assume that everyone talks, thinks and speaks like them. Ok, a gross generalisation. Imagine, however, you were a student from Belgium, France or may be Germany who had just passed an ‘English as a foreign language’ course and decided to come to Britain to test this new knowledge and were diverted to somewhere such as Birmingham or Newcastle (in the East Midlands I think you’d be just about Ok, we’re relatively intelligible, although not always sensible). Language, even one such as English, is not always the same and certainly not what you might have learned on a course. Colloquial (I love that word). It mixes stuff up, adds some spice and herbs… Perhaps computer programmers would like to take note. Not everyone speaks Californianeese ✪

Copyright © Roland Wood for Storyboard4TM March 2015
or follow on @Storyboard4

In addendum: I admit this is a rant. So what, you f***ing s***es!