Miskatonic University Press

Escape Meta Alt from Word


Escape from Microsoft Word by Edward Mendelson is an interesting short post about writing in Microsoft Word compared to that old classic WordPerfect:

Intelligent writers can produce intelligent prose using almost any instrument, but the medium in which they write will always have some more or less subtle effect on their prose. Karl Popper famously denounced Platonic politics, and the resulting fantasies of a closed, unchanging society, in his book The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945). When I work in Word, for all its luxuriant menus and dazzling prowess, I can’t escape a faint sense of having entered a closed, rule-bound society. When I write in WordPerfect, with all its scruffy, low-tech simplicity, the world seems more open, a place where endings can’t be predicted, where freedom might be real.

But of course if the question is “Word or WordPerfect?” the answer is: Emacs. Everything is text.