Thursday, June 28, 2012
Cut, Copy, and Paste
Professor Strate's article "Cut, Copy, and Paste" compares the three basic word processor editing functions to historical tools. "Cut," he writes, comes from the stone knife that our prehistoric ancestors would have used as a cutting tool. Since this is the oldest of the tools, "...it is fitting that cut appears first in the edit menu of current operating systems." "Copy" would seem to be a modern function, since we associate the word "copy" with exact replicas. However, scribes copied manuscripts all the time. Even though they weren't identical copies, they were in fact replicas of the original works. "Paste" has been around for the shortest amount of time. Although there is no known record of prehistoric people using adhesives, it is safe to say that they would have discovered such properties in their plant surroundings.