A History of Word Processing

By Deane Barker on December 27, 2011

The Muses of Insert, Delete and Execute: I enjoyed this article about someone writing a book about the history of word processing and how it has affected writing throughout the ages:

Uncovering a clean answer to the question “Who was the first novelist to use a word processor?” is a trickier business, though Mr. Kirschenbaum has promising leads. Through his agent he recently heard that the science-fiction writer Frank Herbert, the author of “Dune,” who died in 1986, may have submitted work to his publisher in the late 1970s on 8-inch floppy disks.

Here’s his website.  The book is due to be called “Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing,” and will be published sometime in 2013.

It’s probably high time someone looked at this.  I imagine that word processing has driven enormous change in the way we write, and the way we present text.

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