Sally Whyte, journalist
“Dan has never been married. He doesn’t have kids. Not long ago, his choice of lifestyle would have been highly unusual, even pitied. In 1950, 78 percent of households in the United States had a married couple at its helm; more than half of those included children. ‘The accepted wisdom was that the post-World War II nuclear family style was the culmination of a long journey — the end point of changes in families that had been occurring for several hundred years,’ sociologist John Scanzoni wrote in 2001.
“But that wisdom was wrong: The meaning of family is morphing once again. Fueled by a convergence of historical currents — including birth control and the rising status of women, increased wealth and social security, LGBTQ activism, and the spread of personal communication technologies and social media — more people are choosing to live alone than ever before.
Cass Knowlton, editor
“The notion of autocorrect was born when Hachamovitch began thinking about a functionality that already existed in Word. Thanks to Charles Simonyi, the longtime Microsoft executive widely recognized as the father of graphical word processing, Word had a ‘glossary’ that could be used as a sort of auto-expander. You could set up a string of words — like insert logo — which, when typed and followed by a press of the F3 button, would get replaced by a JPEG of your company’s logo. Hachamovitch realized that this glossary could be used far more aggressively to correct common mistakes.
“He drew up a little code that would allow you to press the left arrow and F3 at any time and immediately replace teh with the. His aha moment came when he realized that, because English words are space-delimited, the space bar itself could trigger the replacement, to make correction … automatic! Hachamovitch drew up a list of common errors, and over the next years he and his team went on to solve many of the thorniest. Seperate would automatically change to separate. Accidental cap locks would adjust immediately (making dEAR grEG into Dear Greg). One Microsoft manager dubbed them the Department of Stupid PC Tricks.”
Sophie Benjamin, engagement editor
“The Millers Point properties haven’t always been public housing. For most of Barney’s lifetime, the area was home to hundreds of workers.
“Nobody else, he says, wanted to live here. The terraces were constructed by the government in the early 1900s, purpose-built for dock workers.
“In the 1980s, Barney says, a meeting was called at the local community hall, informing residents that the Department of Housing was taking over management of the properties.
“‘And we weren’t happy about that,’ Barney says. ‘Weren’t happy at all.’
“Often, public housing residents are tarred with the derogatory term ‘housos’. ‘I detest that,’ Barney says.”
Myriam Robin, media reporter
“You know the thing you’ve been doing all this time? Probably since you were a kid? Maybe it was something your parents taught you to do, maybe you learned about it from friends. Perhaps you took a class — or a whole semester — about it. Maybe you even learned how to do it on your own. Well, you’re doing it wrong.
“I know this sounds strange to you. “I’m very good at doing this thing,” you’ll say. “I’ve never had any problems with it. People have even complimented me on my thing-doing abilities. I won an award once. I get paid a good salary doing the thing.”
“It doesn’t matter. However you’re doing the thing, whatever the thing is, there is a different way to do it, a way that is better than the way you do the thing, which is, that’s correct, wrong. You specifically, the person reading this piece, are doing it wrong. (But so are your friends, so be sure to share this.)”
Dan Wood, subeditor
“Fiction writers as a species tend to be oglers. They tend to lurk and to stare. The minute fiction writers stop moving, they start lurking, and stare. They are born watchers. They are viewers. They are the ones on the subway about whose nonchalant stare there is something creepy, somehow. Almost predatory. This is because human situations are writers’ food. Fiction writers watch other humans sort of the way gapers slow down for car wrecks: they covet a vision of themselves as witnesses.
“But fiction writers as a species also tend to be terribly self-conscious. Even by US standards. Devoting lots of productive time to studying closely how people come across to them, fiction writers also spend lots of less productive time wondering nervously how they come across to other people. How they appear, how they seem, whether their shirttail might be hanging out their fly, whether there’s maybe lipstick on their teeth, whether the people they’re ogling can maybe size them up as somehow creepy, lurkers and starers.”
Sally Whyte, journalist
“Of the many names called in the AFL women’s draft yesterday, one in particular resonated with deep-rooted followers of the female game.
“It seems appropriate that the St Kilda Shark, taken by Collingwood with pick No.102, will help get the ball rolling in a national competition next year.
“She’ll be a trailblazer in 2017 just as she was almost 15 years ago when, as a schoolgirl, she went to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and effectively forced AFL Victoria to create a youth girls competition.”