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Letter bucket

Catches the words you throw away
  [vote for,

What happens when you're using a word processor and you press the delete button? A letter, a word, or many paragraphs wiped from your document and thrown into the ether. Unwanted, unloved, discarded, never to be seen again (unless you CTRL-Z or similar).

That is unfair. Surely what is left out of a document is as interesting as what is left in. A word processor should no more assume the text you delete is worthless than it should assume the text you save is great literature.

An add-on, a plug-in, a macro is needed. You press delete, and the text you scrub is not merely wiped from memory but thrown into a buffer. A long file of everything you have ever edited out. Look at the collection of "teh" and "ist" and "yuo". See all those Qs and Ws and Zs and Xs, tricky letters at the corner of the keyboard that sneak in through error. And amid the single letters lie discarded thoughts, threads of argument, ideas you forgot you ever knew.

I suspect if you tried it, the text you throw away might be as great a work of art as anything you have consciously penned. (And it shouldn't even be that difficult to add the functionality, if you can get a word-processor to modify.)

[For this document the letter bucket would include "bini,cutee in by mistakedscs'"f()emodreamed ofwritefrom asssaitbiCRTLTRemight ee".]

pottedstu, Feb 22 2003

(?) The Russians are coming! http://www.russian-...mmunity-Growing.htm
The Russians are coming! [thumbwax, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       "you no-good two timing rat bag, never darken my door again" - hit delete. "hi dahlink, where have you been all month?"
po, Feb 22 2003

       /"bini,cutee in by mistakedscs'"f()emodreamed ofwritefrom asssaitbiCRTLTRemight ee"/   

       "Letter Bucket", The Director's Cut.
egbert, Feb 22 2003

       So a million monkeys, using a million word processors, might eventually delete Hamlet.
FarmerJohn, Feb 22 2003

       How about mating it with a peer-to-peer network system of like-minded text editors, so all your deletions are going into a huge community pile of disused text. Then some suitably snazzy keyword-laden technology (Markov chains? Bayesian statistics? Custard pumps?) is used to choose pieces of text as they come in and assemble them into something that might actually be readable.   

       Synchronicity of the blue pencils.
krelnik, Feb 24 2003

       For some reason, this reminds me of a snippet in an Ian Banks story, where an invader sorts a library alphabetically, word by word.
DrCurry, Feb 24 2003


       Back in the day we used to joke that the chad from our paper tape punches had to be burned so the Russians couldn't reconstruct our military transmissions. The bit bucket has been around as long as we've been dropping bits. I suspect yours overfloweth.
phoenix, Feb 24 2003

       Hmm.... I wonder how many Russians are in living in Florida?
RayfordSteele, Feb 24 2003

       Flori? Da!
egbert, Feb 25 2003

       Njet! I doubt it's that many...although maybe they were the people unable to read the english-only instructions, and failed operate the machine properly, thus resulting in the inevitable, a republican vote...
iain, Feb 25 2003

       Any figures for this claim? Anyway, why do russians want to emigrate to florida? No, wait, that's obvious, the money...
iain, Feb 25 2003

       Hey, i'm not starting an argument, i only asked, you're taking this quite seriously, i'll be prepared to agree now...
iain, Feb 25 2003

       ok, "figures" was a figure of speech, one would have down (well, not 1, cos that would be just silly, but i see your point)
iain, Feb 25 2003

       Speaking of Russians, could we set up an exchange to ship unwanted vowels to the Slovakian regions?
bryaninbama, Feb 04 2004

       This is already fully baked. In Microsoft Word, go to the "view" menu and select "markup". It will show you every addition and deletion to the document, along with an indication of who made the change.
Freefall, Feb 04 2004


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