Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Collective Noun Escapes Me

As you can tell from the picture that heads this post, I have come into a fair few IBM Selectric type elements. I echo the title of this post and wonder what collective noun should be applied to such a gathering? Would they be a grip, group, cache, herd, mob, clutch, murder, dole, plump, balding, team, bed, ward, convocation, stalk, leash, skulk, leap, or an exultation? Comment with your ideas.

With this new infusion of stuff I have become more and more interested in the IBM Selectric. Heretofore I have described them as "nice" and "not my thing," but as I spend more time with it I can see why so many people enjoy the company of this particular electric giant.

The hum is hypnotic.

I can remember a red one in the office where my Grandmother worked. I was allowed to use it whenever we visited. I–as many people–remember the sound of the motor gently humming while the element spun and bobbed across the surface of the paper.

I have more ideas beginning to take shape around this very intriguing typewriter.

In the mean time I have been neglecting the kindness of others. I should have posted a picture tonight, but I forgot. Absentmindedness does not diminish the kindness and generosity embodied in the lovely typewriter that Bill M. sent to me for use in the CTP. We have an identical brother to this particular typewriter and I know that it will be a welcome addition to the classroom. Thank you, Bill!


  1. A pack, a flock, a squadron ready to leap and fly at the paper. I was always intrigued with the IBM Selectrics and even owned a Selectric-II for several years hoping to find many of the elements. That was before PCs and they were more difficult to find cheaply. Now I no longer have room for one, and I would still like one. I think it would be fun collecting the different elements and using them. I am afraid if I brought a Selectric home either myself or the typewriter would need to live outside in the back yard.

  2. A joy. An ocean of possibilities.

    I count myself among those fascinated by these giants, and I still use mine in daily work - they are GREAT for filling multicopy forms, particularly when fitted with a Courier or a Times element. And I love the way you can make crisp, clear documents with that "old school" feel so in vogue these days.

  3. I, too, love my Selectric and all the great (and some broken, but still usable) "golfballs" I've acquired.

    How about a gam of golfballs? A tiding of type elements? A flock of fonts?

    I could go on, but I'll share this so I don't have to: