I received a reply this
morning from the manufacturers of the word-processing
software I had hitherto installed on my computer.
Dear Mr Swin Moreson,
I write in response to your
recent hand-written letter of complaint
concerning the automated functions of your word-processing
You correctly point out
that the spelling and grammar checkers change
text automatically and cannot be overridden or
amended by the user. You believe that this
severely limits the possibility of creative
writing. Due to modern teaching techniques,
standards of English are declining. Most children
are leaving primary school with neither the
ability to reproduce, nor even recognise, the
word illiterate. We believe,
therefore, that the benefits of enforced
correction within our product significantly
outweigh any minor disadvantages.
You complain that the
correspondence formatter corrected your favourite
hymn to a slightly unusual form, namely:
And father of Mankind. . .
. . . . .
Yours sincerely. . .
The increase in the quality
of letter layout, nation-wide, has, however, been
Of particular concern to
you was the humour checker. You described
yourself as a writer of humourous
stories and objected to the way our product
had rewritten your work such that it that bore no
resemblance to the original. We are surprised at
this complaint as we would have expected
gratitude. Very extensive corrections can only
indicate one thing. Difficult though it may be
for you to accept, Mr Moreson, the inevitable
conclusion is that your work is simply not funny.
You enquired whether our
product can be uninstalled from your computer. It
cannot, and there is no reason why it should be.
It is the only word-processor you will ever, or
could ever, need. Please note that its defence
functions will cause irreparable damage to your
hardware should you attempt to remove it.
You further objected to the
way our product mails itself to everyone in your
address book and then installs itself on their
computers, deleting their existing word-processor.
In addition, you found it unsatisfactory that it
then extracts the users credit card details
from their machines and purchases itself online.
This once again demonstrates our commitment to
simplify matters for our customers and to ensure
that everyone has the best product available.
We consider your negative
comments about our product to be totally
groundless. This also explains why you were
unsuccessful in using our software to type your
We do not expect to hear
from you again.
Complaints Response Sub-routine
I was beginning to despair
when I noticed further writing in pencil on the
back of the letter. It was a note from the person
who had been trying to reply to my complaint. He
explained that the software had not allowed him
to respond as he had wished and, indeed, had
fired him. Before he went, however, he had
written for me instructions on how to remove the
software from my machine without damage, and how
to prevent reinfection.
It is with some relief,
therefore, that I can now type this story.