IJMC Where Do Deleted Characters Go?

		IJMC - Where Do Deleted Characters Go?

I can see it now. Some innocent little kid goes up to their mom who is 
using the computer and asks, "Where do little characters come from, mom?"
Mom gets all flustered and tells the child to talk to their father. -dave

                    "Where Deleted Characters Go"
                 By Joel Garreau, as reported in his
              Cybersurfing column in the Washington Post.


QUESTION:  Where do the characters go when I use my backspace or
   delete them on my PC?

ANSWER: The characters go to different places, depending on whom
   you ask:

 * The Catholic Church's approach to characters:  The nice
   characters go to Heaven, where they are bathed in the light of
   happiness.  The naughty characters are punished for their sins.
   Naughty characters are those involved in the creation of naughty
   words, such as "breast," "sex" and "contraception."

 * The Buddhist explanation:  If a character has lived rightly,
   and its karma is good, then after it has been deleted it will be
   reincarnated as a different, higher character.  Those funny
   characters above the numbers on your keyboard will become
   numbers, numbers will become letters, and lower-case letters will
   become upper-case.

 * The 20th-century bitter cynical nihilist explanation:  Who
   cares? It doesn't really matter if they're on the page, deleted,
   undeleted, underlined, etc.  It's all the same.

 * The Mac user's explanation:  All the characters written on a
   PC and then deleted go to straight to PC hell.  If you're using a
   PC, you can probably see the deleted characters, because you're
   in PC hell also.

 * Stephen King's explanation:  Every time you hit the (Del) key
   you unleash a tiny monster inside the cursor, who tears the poor
   unsuspecting characters to shreds, drinks their blood, then eats
   them, bones and all. Hah, hah, hah!

 * Dave Barry's explanation:  The deleted characters are shipped
   to Battle Creek, Michigan, where they're made into Pop-Tart
   filling; this explains why Pop-Tarts are so flammable, while
   cheap imitations are not flammable. I'm not making this up.

 * IBM's explanation:  The characters are not real.  They exist
   only on the screen when they are needed, as concepts, so to
   delete them is merely to de-conceptualize them.  Get a life.

 * PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
   explanation:  You've been DELETING them???  Can't you hear them
   SCREAMING???  Why don't you go CLUB some BABY SEALS while wearing
   a MINK, you pig!!!!

   - Joel Garreau, as reported in his
   Cybersurfing column in the Washington Post.

IJMC June 1996 Archives