The Plank

"clippy," Clipped


Jim Fallows hired me at U.S. News during his too-brief tenure as editor, and he's been a friend ever since. But it's only now that I discover just how deeply in his debt I am:

We all pick our causes. During my brief and enjoyable stint
at Microsoft long ago, I worked on various big-think projects. But my
claim to have changed the world may rest on my all-out war against
"Clippy," the moronic "help" feature that popped up to say "Hey, you
seem to be writing a letter!" each time you typed "Dear ..." I don't
want to overstate things, but before I arrived, Word came with Clippy
turned on by default. Now it's turned off by default. Judge for

A nation offers its sincere thanks.

--Christopher Orr

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