D.J. Enright – The Typewriter Revolution

It’s strange what texting, microblogging and the internet has done to the English language. Perhaps never before have we been subject to as many acronyms and abbreviated words than at present. The butchery of our language is not, however, a new thing. The poem, The Typewriter Revolution written by D.J. Enright in 1920 shows one perspective on how the typewriter was received when it made its debut. The poem’s wit and applicability to the seemingly unstoppable downward spiral of our language struck me as suitable for a Steampunk audience.

Without further ado, The Typewriter Revolution:

The typeriter is crating
A revlootion in peotry
Pishing back the frontears
And apening up fresh feels
Unherd of by Done or Bleak

Mine is a Swetish Maid
Called FACIT
Others are OLIMPYA or ARUSTOCART
FRAMINTONG or LOLITEVVI

TAB e or not TAB e
i.e. the ?
Tygirl tygirl burning bride
Y, this is L
Nor-my-outfit
Anywan can od it
U 2 can b a
Tepot

C! *** stares and /// strips
Cloaca nd + -
Farty-far keys to suckcess!
A banus of +% for all futre peots!!
LSD & $$$
The trypewiter is cretin
A revultion in peotry
" "All nem r =" "
O how they pound away
@ UNDERWORDS and ALLIWETTIS
Without a.

FACIT cry I!!

Did you catch all of that?

11 comments on “D.J. Enright – The Typewriter Revolution

  1. Samantha Lee says:

    Dear Great One,
    Can you translate that to post English fail por favor?

    • aeflint says:

      Samantha, I gave it the best stab that I could, but the poem itself seems to make a decreasing amount of sense the further it goes in. I know I haven’t gotten everything, but here’s a quick translation:

      The typewriter is creating
      A revolution in poetry
      Pushing back the frontiers
      And opening up fresh fields
      Unheard of by Done or Bleak

      Mine is a Swedish Maid
      Called FACIT
      Others are OLYMPIA or ARISTOCRAT
      REMINGTON or OLIVETTI

      To be or not to be
      That is the question
      Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
      Why, this is L
      Nor-my-outfit
      Anyone can do it
      You too can be a
      Poet

      See! *** Stars and /// Stripes
      Cloaca and + –
      Forty-four keys to success!
      A bonus of +% for all future poets!!
      LSD & $$$
      The typewriter is creating
      A revolution in poetry
      ” ” All nem r =” ”
      O how they pound away
      @ UNDERWORDS and ALLIWETTIS
      Without a.

      FACIT cry I!!

      Anyone else catch references or decode misspelled words I didn’t find in my first translation? Let me know!

  2. Samantha Lee says:

    THNX!!! Oh fyi my English teacher totally rofloled when Cole showed her this poem!! ^_^

  3. Me says:

    I think it is “Donne and Blake” as further down there is an allusion to Blake’s poem form “Songs of Experience”, “The Tyger”.

  4. Me says:

    Also ” ” All nem r =” ”, isn’t it “All men are equal”…

  5. sandra deyes says:

    thanks for posting this poem it is one of my favorites

    Cloaca and + – = cloak and dagger

    Without a. = without a point

  6. Evangelyn Jordan says:

    Underwood and Olivetti were popular typewriter brands.

  7. damien says:

    I think it’s as follows starting from verse 2

    Mine is a Swedish made
    Called FACIT
    Others are Olympia or Aristocrat
    Remington or Olivetti

    To be or not to be
    That is the question
    Tiger tiger burning bright
    Why, this is hell
    No rhyme out of it
    Anyone can do it
    You too can be a poet

    See! Stars and stripes
    Cloak and dagger
    Forty four keys to success
    A positive percentage bonus for all future poets!!
    Drugs and money
    The typewriter is creating a revolution in poetry
    They say all men are equal
    Oh how they pound away
    At Underwoods and Olivettis
    Without a stop

    Fuck it cry I!

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