Hear, hear, Ruth Marcus for the apt analysis of PowerPoint's insidious subversion of our language, and thinking [op-ed, Aug. 30]. This encroachment is nearly breathtaking. I am dismayed by calls for employment that require mastery of PowerPoint, Publisher, Quark, Flash and ForgetIt.
My parents went to college armed with a Parker pen. I went with an Underwood. My daughter will take a Dell Inspiron 6000. Don't get me wrong; word processing has helped me become more efficient and effective as a writer. But I'm afraid that before long immigrants may be asked at the border: "Do you speak Microsoft?"
Ruth Marcus neglected one particularly egregious aspect of the PowerPoint presentation craze -- the point at which presenters project slides onto a screen and then read every line of every slide, belittling and boring listeners in one fell swoop.
I suggest all potential PowerPoint presenters shrink their information to one page, hand it out and call it an executive summary.
Please tell me that Ruth Marcus is joking. PowerPoint is nothing more than a tool that automates the creation of those old-fashioned overhead projector slides. Lincoln fumbling with the F7 key is just a new riff on the poor presenter who drops his index cards and has to resort them.
Students who cannot write a complete sentence because their homework consists of PowerPoint presentations are no different from students who cannot do long division because their calculator does it for them. The problem is ineffective teaching, not evil software.
Likewise, a slide that buries "life and death" information so deeply that it goes unnoticed is in a flawed presentation.
ALLISON H. WILTISON