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Seems a moot point, because you are reading this on your computer screen, Android phone, iPad, or whatever digital whirligig/whatchyamacallit is currently in your hands, on your lap, your desk, or in some way or other is before your eyes at the present moment.

However, the blog “Ive been thinking about. . .” from Patrecia (misswhiplash) got me wondering:  is there really any contest?  There isn’t, for me, but perhaps not in the way you think.  It comes down to the readers’ choice, and not the writer’s.  The reason there is no clear winner in my particular situation is that as a reader of my stellar writing, you have two choices: pick your way through typos and unscramble poor syntax; or adjust your glasses, the light in your room, and make an effort to decipher my handwriting.

I will present you with examples of my work in both media.  First, you will see a copy of a short poem (I have just written) in my own malfunctioning right hand, followed by a second try using my left hand.  Next will be a copy of my poem typed without correcting, by my left hand. Below that will be another attempt using my left hand and my right middle finger (also sans corrections).  Tell me your preference.  Since I have shown you example’s of Sonya’s work in the past, you may refer to that here.

Left Habd:

The question og paper or digital
Is one neither giant nor midget’ll
Ever neaable to abswer to
The satsfaction of someone who
Insusts it be answered one way or thw other.
‘Cause I asked a midget and hr giant brother.
(Hopimg to get the matter decided,
Before hwe nose and his knee collided.)
I’m still waiting for what their answer will be –
For the long and the short of it seldom agree.

Left hand, right middle finger:

The questio  of paper aor didgital
Is one neither giant nor midget’ll
Ever be able to answer to
The satisfaction of someone who
Insists it be answered one way or the toehr.
‘Cause I asked a midget and her giant brother.
(Hoping to get the matter decided,
Before her noswe and his knee collided.)
I’m still waiting for what theiranswer wikk be  –
For the long and the short of it selcom agree.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There you have it!  Can you decide?

It is usually around this time that I feel my middle finger (left or right) wanting to rise in the direction of my keyboard.  I feel that it really ought to coöperate, and type what I want and not what my fingers touch!  Maybe someday,  computers will be wired directly to the brain and respond to my thoughts and not my hands.  Sonya is getting better at responding to my voice, now that I have worked on the set-up under voice recognition, but I’m not doing that as much these days.  I’m afraid that by the time I get the required commands out of my mouth, I will have forgotten what I was going to say!

So, for my personal writing, I choose digital, and corrected – using the spell-check, and my own two mediocre eyes.  I might miss an occasional misplaced, but correctly spelled word, and if I can refrain from rewriting without reactivating spell-check, I can generally avoid egregious typos.  After wading through all the above, I give you the correct version of my off-the-cuff poem:

Paper or Digital?
© 2011 Paula Tohline Calhoun

The question of paper or digital
Is one neither giant nor midget’ll
Ever be able to answer to
The satisfaction of someone who
Insists it be answered one way or the other,
‘Cause I asked a midget and her giant brother,
Hoping to get the matter decided,
Before her nose and his knee collided!
I’m still waiting for what their answer will be –
For the long and the short of it seldom agree.

Still under 1,000 words – and I’ve actually said enough. . .

(wc 655)

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