The Write Walk Down Memory Lane: Vintage Typewriters

Vintage Typewriter

Oh, the memory of hearing that all familiar pecking on the round lettered keys of a vintage typewriter. Those visual images of reporters in a newsroom or a writer sitting at a wooden table typing a memoir, novel or book of poetry reminds us of the unique characteristics that draw us to the collector’s corner of these antique writing machines.
Vintage Typewriter, Imperial

Vintage typewriter

The artistry in the mechanics orchestrated by every component in each make and model of vintage typewriters makes every part dance with the other through skill and proficiency.

Vintage Typewriter, Writing

Vintage Typewriter, Writing

Vintage Typewriter, Writing

Vintage Typewriters

The evolution of the typewriter portrays an incredible influence in the advancement of writing communication that we see and experience today. Can you believe how far we’ve come in this new wave of keyboard technology?


Can You Hear Me?

Deaf Awareness Week, Hearing Impaired, Hard of Hearing

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You know, it’s interesting to watch people who meet someone who is deaf suddenly get the urge to speak loud, almost shouting in some cases. Sadly, more often than not, we find that people tend to be uneasy around someone who is different from them, thus creating an atmosphere of awkwardness, exclusion, alienation, and marginalization.

I remember a community event I, along with another co-worker were assigned to do for a Springfest event in the mid-80’s. I worked for a cosmetics company in a major department store at that time and no one else in the department wanted to leave the store to participate in this assignment. The Buyer decided to “make” me and another counter manager attend the event…end of discussion. When my coworker and I found out that this presentation was for a statewide festival for deaf students, we were scared to death because we had no idea how we were going to communicate with them.

After we arrived at the location and checked in, we were taken to our area to set up for our presentation. As God would have it, there was an interpreter there for us, but we were not told that prior to our arrival. We felt a sigh of relief and commenced with our demonstrations. As it would be, these students were not any different from us. These attendees were able-bodied, normal and happy individuals, just with the inability to hear. That was it. Period.

Those students and interpreters have no idea how much they touched “our” lives, not vice versa. After we returned to work, of course, everyone wanted to know how disappointed we probably were and what a failure our presentation was. They were about as surprised as a deer in headlights when we told them we had an amazing time, plus we were invited to stay and eat lunch with the students.

Thank You in Sign Language, Deaf, Hearing Impaired

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Before we left, the one thing I asked them to show me how to sign were the words, “Thank you!” Their level of communication was far more advanced than mine. They “heard” and “listened” attentively with their hands. As I was sifting through tons of paper stored in a box one day not long ago, I found a few hand-written thank you letters from students we met that day. I sat on the floor, reread those letters and cried like a baby. It’s amazing how a simple handwritten thank you note can make you happy and humble!

This week, September 24-30, 2017 we are observing Deaf Awareness Week. Observed annually during the last full week in September, this observance is designed to focus on promoting the positive aspects of the deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) community. This commemoration helps to raise awareness about those organizations who support the deaf and to encourage social inclusion of the deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) communities.

It simply blows my mind how much those who are categorized as deaf or hearing impaired, listen far more intuitively than many of us who are categorized as normal “hearing” beings. They celebrate and have heartaches just like anybody else. They are not aliens, they are our brothers and sisters with unique skills and gifts. Instead of judging or ignoring them, we must exercise more compassion and a willingness to learn so we can better understand and discover how more alike we are than different. Do you hear me now?

Scratch My Head

Question, Mobile Phones, Voice Mail

OK, I know that I can be a little slow sometimes trying to understand how people communicate these days, but there is a gnawing question that I really need someone to explain to me.

What is so lame about calling someone and leaving a message on their voicemail should you want them to call you back? I ask this question because I came across a comment one day on Facebook where someone posted how stupid it is to leave a message on a voicemail. They commented that no one in their right mind leaves a voice message anymore. They went on to say that a person should automatically know that if someone calls you and you see their phone number show up as a missed call, then that means they want you to call them back!

What the what? So, exactly what is the voice messaging system for if you don’t want to leave a message for the person you are calling, so the recipient can call you back? When I phoned a couple of people in my family whose number showed up as a missed call, but they didn’t leave a message, I thought something had happened. They proceeded to tell me that they accidentally called my number and didn’t want anything.

Typically, proper phone etiquette warrants an individual to cordially leave a message if you want someone to return your call or if there is something you need to inform them of. Somehow, I guess I missed the new phone etiquette rules and need someone to please help me with this ‘Scratch My Head‘ dilemma. Seriously, this is something I honestly cannot wrap any form of logic around.

Religion – Politics – Anarchy

fighting, anarchy, arguments

Social media had been a channel where many platforms are readily available to share, interact and voice your opinions on. We have the freedom to share things about our lives, our likes, dislikes and tolerances. It simply amazes me how many broken friendships, relationships and families are damaged by blowing up over certain topics. Growing up there were two main subjects we were always told to avoid discussing unless you were gamed for a heated argument: religion and politics. I noticed over the past eight years that social media has opened the door for some engaging conversations that have turned brutal.

Since the increase in popularity of social media over the past 10 years, everyone has an opportunity to get on their soap box and discuss things on their minds. Oftentimes, their opinions become serious offenses that get practically everyone fired up and end up igniting verbal fights in the comment sections on blogs, articles, op-ed pieces and social media sites. Some people are un-friending long-time friends, acquaintances and even family members who they get into a fiery sparring match with. I realize how passionate people are about things or views they like or disagree with, but come on now, just because we have the freedom of speech that does not give us the license to be downright mean.

I am connected to many people of different ethnicities, denominations, political affiliations and economic levels on social media. While many of their comments or viewpoints were/are different from mine, I try not to be brutally offensive if I want to share a thought or opinion different from theirs. There is an intelligent way of getting your point across in my opinion. What’s even more disconcerting is the type of language that comes from the mouths of many people who claim to be God-fearing “Christians.” Some of the stuff I read that they have written simply blows my mind, and makes me wonder what Bible they are studying and what doctrine they are following!

My mother used to say, listen and think before you speak. You have “two” ears and “one” mouth for a reason. Once words come out of your mouth, you can make a public insult, but sometimes it’s very difficult for that person to accept a private apology. If you intentionally say something that will hit below the belt and hurt someone, you could do some serious damage, not just to them, but to yourself. While people think that trying to be prudent when responding or speaking to others may come off as wimpy, saying whatever comes to your mind and intentionally insulting others simply because you can, does not give you the license to say whatever you want and not expect to suffer the consequences as a result of it. If you dish it out, you have to be willing to take it.

Yes, we can discuss religion, we can discuss politics and we can discuss other sensitive issues. But if you want to indulge in a healthy conversation, even if our views vary, then we can have an intelligent conversation without getting downright nasty. Yet, if you want to simply pick a fight, then we have nothing to discuss. In light of this being an election year, there is a tremendous amount of mud-slinging going on. But remember, people have feelings and families. Let’s talk about the issues, but let’s do it responsibly, intelligently and civilly. That’s my soapbox moment for today! And as Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that!”

The Beauty of Vintage Typewriters

vintage typewriters, typewritersThere is something so nostalgic about this vintage machine that started the popularity of dictating handwritten words through keyboard writing. The sound of that tap-tap-tapping away at the keys is a familiar sound we would hear in an office or newsroom. Now that vintage typewriters are basically retired, there are still many people who love the aesthetics and feel of a good old-fashioned typewriter. I wrote this article 9 years ago and in light of recent conversations about vintage typewriters with a few fellow writers, I decided to repost it again. Do you collect or still write with a vintage typewriter? Share your thoughts.

The Typewriter: Influencing Communications Technology
By Kym Gordon Moore

Without the invention of the typewriter would it have been possible for the computer to bask in its global popularity today? Would you be reading these words if it wasn’t for the invention of the keyboard? When you think about the ease of usage as you type compositions that appear on the screen of your computer monitor, we should never forget the celebrated invention of the typewriter.

Mastering the use of the typewriter comes with the tag team precision of eye, brain and hand coordination. During my tenure in high school, typing classes were taught as an elective. Typewriters were extremely popular at that time, due to a soaring demand in secretarial careers. Accuracy and the number of words typed per minute were primary requirements for secretarial positions.

The evolution of the typewriter dates back to around 1713. An English engineer, Henry Mill was granted the first English typewriter patent in 1714, but never got around to manufacturing it. The first American typewriter patent was granted to William A. Burt, an inventor from Detroit in 1829 who introduced the typographer. Burt’s method was designed for transcribing letters singularly and progressively, one after another on paper.

The first practical typewriter, called the “Sholes & Glidden Type Writer,” was conceived and invented by Christopher Latham Sholes, Samuel Soulé and Carlos Glidden. The Type Writer was marketed by gun manufacturers, E. Remington & Sons. The keyboard arrangement was considered notable enough to be included on Sholes’ patent, granted in 1878. The typewriter worked great for beginners, but for the professional, modifications had to be done. The problem arose when increased typing speed caused a problem with the keys sticking. Hence, this influenced the invention of the QWERTY typewriter by Christopher Latham Sholes. The letters “Q,W,E,R,T” and “Y” beginning with the first row of letters from the left on the keyboard, gave the layout its name. It was also called the “Universal” keyboard.

The transition from the development of the typewriter to the computer keyboard resulted from the introduction of the teletype machine that combined the technology of the typewriter with the mechanics of the telegraph. The first machines only typed capital letters. The home keys (where the typist’s fingers rest) are “ASDF” for the left fingers and “JKL;” for the right fingers.

It is noted that Mark Twain was the first author to submit a “typewritten” manuscript to his publisher. Clearly, through the evolution of writing machines, the typewriter made a major impact on professionals, students and anyone wanting to make a written impression in a tasteful and organized manner. It is evident that the nobility of the legendary typewriter canvasses its way throughout the evolution of writing machine history.

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What Are Homophones and Why Are They Important?

Do you remember your English teacher in grade school or high school painstakingly teaching you about homophones? Do you remember what homophones are and when to use them? When it comes to written communications that contain important and meticulous instructions, misusing a word can not only cause confusion, but could produce some incorrect or unsafe consequences.

So just what is a homophone? According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, a homophone is one of two or more words such as “night” and “knight,” that are pronounced the same, but differ in meaning, origin and sometimes spelling. Should we make a big deal about how these words are used or spelled? Absolutely!

It became evident to me that the misuse of homophones is a growing issue, even in the realm of technical writing among college graduate courses. After the first few errors that I found where homophones were misused in some lecture presentations for a few of my graduate classes, I began to realize that it just wasn’t a typographical error, but a literary faux pas. In high school, I remember my English teachers instructing us on how to use homophones in relation to a word’s specific definition, in order to avoid misinterpretations and confusion in communications. In writing, you will clearly have some type of error from time to time, but this is when proofreading a document, manuscript or policy manual is of utmost importance, especially when time-sensitive material has to be interpreted with accuracy.

Here are a few commonly misused homophones that are still surprisingly found in some professional and informal written communications:

1. Wear, ware, where
2. Whether, weather
3. Soar, sore
4. There, their
5. Pour, poor, pore
6. To, too, two
7. Sweet, suite
8. Plough, plow
9. Pair, pear
10. Write, right
11. Scent, sent, cent
12. Time, Thyme

Test yourself to see if you understand how to use the above words in its proper context and intended sentence structure. How can you improve your ability to properly use homophones?

1. Utilize your dictionary and/or thesaurus frequently.

2. When typing on the Word processor of your computer, use your “spell check” feature to check the spelling and grammar of many words and phrases that are color detected by a red, blue or green underline. Sometimes the spell check feature may not catch every misspelled word the way you may use it, because it could be the correct spelling of a word you are not familiar with. Also, the spell check feature may try to correct some of your formal or informal names and words that you do not want corrected. Be mindful of the capabilities when using this feature to check for spelling and grammatical errors.

3. Do not hesitate to seek guidance on correct word usage from an English teacher or professor of literature. There may be some professional writers who could also help you with homophone variations.

In our society where clear and detailed-oriented communications is imperative to the various facets of our lives, improper use of homophones could be a liability in your decision making process.


The Impact of Communications – Marketing, Business, Behavior and Culture

In order to comprehend the impact of communication within your organization, members must understand that this particular element of your marketing mix is used to deliver advertising messages and assist target audiences and customers to make purchases. Communication builds a relationship with current loyal customers, while increasing brand awareness and convincing targeted consumers to buy your brand over your competitors.

There are many factors that can have a major impact on your organization’s communication strategy, but here are four key attributes:

1. Marketing
Companies create databases through many ways, such as surveys and transactions for mass customization. Mass customization means to take products traditionally designed for mass markets and reshape them to appear to be personally designed for your targeted customer. The structure of communication starts with the source, which gets the attention of the receiver or end-user, by stimulating their interest of your message. The receiver or end-user interprets the message provided by the sender, in order to provide feedback of the message.

2. Business
Through product and service quality, customer satisfaction is achieved through the creation of increased brand loyalty and elevated repeat purchases. With changes in the environmental factors affecting traditional advertising spending, marketing managers are seeking new and innovative media avenues to reach their current and targeted audiences. We are continuing to witness a shift from traditional media methods (TV, radio, newspaper and magazines) to strategic product placement (Internet commerce, mobile commerce and buzz marketing or viral marketing). As we examine two major categories of communication channels, we discover that they are either personal or non-personal. Personal communication channels involve direct communications through professionals, salespeople, by phone or through email communications. Non-personal channels include attributes such as TV, newspaper, radio, direct mail, Internet, etc.

3. Behavior
When communicating with your current or potential customer, you are building and maintaining a rapport for continued and future business. Cultural and environmental changes affect social, technological, political and economic performances. Physical responses to advertisements will stimulate a shopping environment. These responses are based on awareness, attention-knowledge, desire, conviction, action, price, purchase, evaluation presentation, innovation, information, decision-making and behavioral responses. Regional differentiation (national or global) will have an impact on population, the perceived value of your products or services by customers, need segmentation and cultural preferences.

4. Culture
When marketing and communication managers are promoting their products and services to current and targeted audiences, cultural values and elements of culture are taken into consideration, in order to analyze the impact of their purchasing decision process. Behavioral and demographic attributes consist of values, language, religion, attitudes, population, age, social organizations, education, technology and geography. A common and advantageous concept occurring among many small businesses and large corporations is cultural diversity. Embracing differences and variety within a company and among their target consumers, includes age, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, race and gender. These attributes are a part of the company’s culture. Cultural diversity is becoming an integral part in most companies today and drives economic development, marketing, employee development, vendor relationships and consumer loyalty and spending.

Brand equity communicates the value and quality, or other aspects of your products or services. Communications help customers make more informed decisions about their purchases. Marketing, business, behavior and culture not only impact an organization’s communication, but they build relationships.