APFwebs: Letters from the Editor

Independence Day 2018

Use short first paragraphs.

That was the second of Hemingway’s tips for writing well. I’ve heard some schools have dropped writing from their curriculum—cursive, that is. No more John Hancocks.

What with credit cards, no need for John Hancocks on checks—even credit card companies are dropping the need for verifying signatures. (We’d found that signing the actual text “John Hancock”—or merely any meaningless scribble—would suffice anyway.)

How many folks recognize—or care about—the scribbles at the bottoms of paper money bills? Paper money?

Yet still, when I sign at the bank, some tellers comment on my John Hancock flourishes.

As for writing, short bursts at Twitter climb in attention over long thoughtful essays. After the title (or first line, maybe), a glance at the length, then the thought “tl;dr”. (Hemingway’s first rule was apt: Use short sentences.)

Think attention span.

My first year of typing class was on a Smith Corona—similar to Hemingway’s. Ah, but I graduated in my second year to an IBM Selectric. Typeballs and changeable fonts. IBM—into Lenovo—was the master of comfortable keyboards.

I write (Type? iPad-Touch?) on July 4. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


How many would be so proud and brave to give this a large, brazen John Hancock?

Let’s celebrate. Let the fireworks begin.

Dry New Mexico: exceptional drought. Our hose is ready.

We hope our house is safe.