The recent death of homicidal maniac/musical genius Phil Spector reminded me of my own Motown experience. It’s difficult to reconcile those two descriptors of Spector, but he clearly showed traits of both throughout his life.
My experience had nothing whatsoever to do with music. I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket as the old saying goes. When it comes to words I stick to the written variety, for the benefit of everyone’s ears.
At the end of the class he asked us to, on the way out, take our papers back, take them home and cut out 500 words then return them the next week
Some while ago I was rushing to complete a contract. It was a longish piece I was writing. Starting as a university student, and to this day, I have always been economical with words. Term papers were exercises in counting as much as writing. Believe me I counted every single word trying to get to the assigned number. Others whined about having to cut and cut. Not me.
I had one professor who assigned a 2000 word essay on something that now escapes my memory. On the due date he asked us all to place the papers on his desk. He then went on with his lecture. At the end of the class he commended us for being on time. He then asked us to, on the way out, take our papers back, unread, bring them home and cut out 500 words then return them the next week. The result was a much better, more streamlined essay. A lesson that has stayed with me always.
Needless to say the – ahem – Temptation was to complain to Microsoft
Okay … back to my Motown experience. As I was writing the aforementioned piece, I figured I had completed about four of the ten pages required. I was pleased when I check the document details in Word to find that I was in fact at seven pages. It felt off, but then who was I to complain?
Thinking something was amiss I checked again and this time the number was five pages. Was I losing my mind? Had my eyesight failed me? Nope – it was just my pagination, running away with me! Needless to say the – ahem – Temptation was to complain to Microsoft, but as long as the problem was not reversed, I’d learn to live with it.