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Saturday, 13 February 2016

Year of the (Typewriter) Monkey

The Year of the Monkey began during International Typewriter Appreciation Month, so here's to all those typewriter appreciating monkeys ...
In the late 1920s, young aristocratic and upper class ladies prepared for their "coming out" by taking a secretarial course in London. They formed themselves into the "Monkey Club", the idea being "to broaden the horizons and skill base of debutantes upon their return from foreign finishing schools". The various lessons and activities ranged from house keeping and social work, to plumbing and typing.
Last week, closing his QI TV series, Stephen Fry paraphrased the old line about "1000 monkeys with typewriters" to "1000 monkeys with keyboards would produce the entire work of Shakespeare". Fry added, "It's been tried and failed."
The Monkey (猴) is the ninth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese Zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Monkey is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 申. 
A previous Year of the Monkey stretched from January 30, 1968, to February 16, 1969 (earthly branch Wu Shen), so it just, by two days, embraced the launch in Barcelona of the Olivetti Valentine portable typewriter, so beloved of monkeys ever since.
Happy Valentine's Day for tomorrow.


Gordon Tillman said...

Robert that post is adorable.

Joe V said...

This typewriter monkey enjoyed this post!

I've been meaning to tell you that I love the quote on your header.

~Joe Van Cleave

Richard P said...

Fun post! The "monkey at a typewriter" meme has staying power -- in fact, it's been around long before the concept of a meme, and will (I hope) outlast it.

Bill M said...

Great group of Monkeys Robert.