The Yellow Pencil


Some thirty years ago I rubbed elbows with a writing group in the United States’ Pacific Northwest. I didn’t always understand, nor enjoy some of the of-the-wall fiction emanating from their midst, so I seldom participated beyond reading their organ, must remain unnamed.

The primary reason I seldom joined in was their frequent use of obscene language. In answer to my written complaint the editor stated that it was sometimes necessary to make a point. My answer was that the author who so often leaned on four-letter words was making the point that he/she was in dire need of an enlarged vocabulary.

My complaint fell on deaf ears, for the “bomb” words continued to see the light of day.

Then one day a fellow crafted a lengthy article on the need to keep cursive writing alive. “No one,” he said, “ can predict what tomorrow will bring. No one can know for certain that tomorrow the “chip” will continue performing as it is today, but rather be nothing more than a lump of silicone. Tomorrow there may be only two ways of communicating – word-of-mouth and cursive.”

And then this fellow began discussing the positive attributes of the yellow pencil. Not only had this device been in use for as long as anyone could recall, that it and the slide rule had participated in some rather impressive creations – the George Washing Bridge, Empire State Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge – to name those I can recall without the aid of a Google Search.

I was impressed. This fellow was onto something. I jumped aboard his bandwagon, and began learning more about this person.

Then I discovered his uncle owned a pencil factory.

2 thoughts on “The Yellow Pencil

  1. Love it! :)))

    The lesson here is, we should always research our subject thoroughly, keep our focus pointed and never allow room for any shavings to crush our graphite. Cursively speaking, one must never smudge their subject matter, lest they lose their style point.


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