I've been trying to ignore this for some time now, but I can't any longer; it just keeps coming up. Every time I type a chapter on this Smith Corona XE 5100 Spell-Right typewriter, I am faced with a dilemma: my typewriter bleeps. I remember George Harrison's lament, "My guitar gently weeps," on the Beatles' famous white album. Well, my typewriter gently bleeps, or more accurately, "sickly" bleeps. It's a very pathetic, injured sound, like a little tone sort of bent over another. It reminds me of an ailing little lamb with half a vocal chord — not that I've ever been around an ailing little lamb with half a vocal chord, but I somehow think if I ever was it would sound like the bleep on my Smith Corona. The bleep comes from a 50,000 word dictionary that has been programmed into the brains of this machine. Whenever I type a word that isn't on the list — "Bleebleep!" — it bleeps at me. This is actually a very useful feature. More often than not, the bleep signals a typing error rather than a spelling mistake. But the spelling of particular words is an issue over which I and the typewriter fight an ongoing controversy. Fifty thousand words is a lot, but not enough to get all the derivations of all the words I use, not to mention some words that have simply been programmed incorrectly or missed altogether. So my typewriter has a bleep I cannot wholly trust, often sending me scurrying to my Webster's to defend myself. Imagine carrying on a running argument with your typewriter over the spelling of certain words.
I think I'm going to keep this typewriter just as it is. After all, God has not smashed me or traded me in for another model. The fact that I can sanctify this typewriter through the truth of the words that pass through it, in spite of its bleeps, reminds me that God can do the same thing through my bleeping life in this bleeping world. - John Fischer