Post #2: Analyzing “From Pencils to Pixels”

Over the long weekend, part of my homework included reading the article “From Pencils to Pixels” written by Dennis Baron. The overall topic of the essay recalled the progression of writing technologies since the humble pencil to now the mighty computer.

The entirety of the piece left me marveling at how far we, as a civilization, have come since recorded history. One thing that I was very surprised to discover upon reading this article was how with every new invention of a means to write, record, or communicate information, there was always rebellion from one group of people who opposed the new idea. I knew that this sort of scenario would be popular today, but I found it very surprising that even with the creation of the telephone so many people didn’t see the uses of it, and now it is something that is used almost daily by many individuals.

Another example that I wanted to highlight was when Baron talked about how writing does not match spoken language. He mentioned that writing may be able to convey the same ideas that speech can, but it holds none of the tones, annunciations, or facial cues that talking face to face provides. I personally connected to this statement as it reminded me of how now with the popularity of texting, it is often times difficult to discern the emotionality of a persons response solely based on their text. For example, asking a question and getting a response of “That’s fine” can sometimes be difficult to decipher, especially if you don’t know whether the person meant it enthusiastically or in an indifferent and unhappy tone. In this case, speech can be better than writing. However, if done correctly writing can still give the same expression of tone as speech can. Authors often times do this with descriptors like, “he growled” or “she cooed” to help the reader understand the tonal cues even though they can’t be heard. So, while I agree that speech is usually better at conveying emotion, when done right writing can have the same effect.

The last thing I want to mention from this article comes from when Baron talks about the similarities between art and writing. As an artist and writer myself I found this drawn comparison to be very true. I think that writing is a kind of art in the sense that you are creating something from your original ideas and manifesting it. With art it can be done with paints, pencils, chalks, and other things but writing can do the same thing with words. I found this part to be very poetic and good at connecting the whole morale of the article: that whether it’s with a pencil or with a computer, writing is writing and the advancement of technology will simply help to make that writing easier to perfect, distribute and share with the world.


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