In the 19th century the great change on the seas was from sail to steam, and in the newsroom during the 20th century, the big transition was from typewriters to computers and the Internet. Now a related neologism has popped up in the Urban Dictionary—typestolgia:
“(n.) – A nostalgia for old manual and electric typewriters as well as the sound of typewriting on such machines.
‘I like my computer with its sleek keyboard, of course, but I must say, I also harbor a personal typestolgia for the old days of manual typewriters and electric typewriters.’
— overheard at a watercooler in Manhattan, May 15, 2010″
Providing the tip for the Dictionary was Dan Bloom of Newspaper Song fame, to whom I’d forwarded a news item about the expulsion of a typewriter-lover named Skye Ferrante from The Writers Room in New York City. He was away from the room for some months, and by the time he returned, all his fellow typewriter users had died off or switched to laptops.
Scandals takes place in a transitional era when computers were replacing typewriters at newspapers—a fact that figures in the plot.
Detail: Dan says the correct spelling is actually "typestalgia." In case you’re curious, the newsroom photo was taken at the late and much-missed Washington Star.
Update, May 29: Skye Ferrante tells Dan he “barely talked” to others in the Writers Room; so, out of fairness, I’ve removed a reference to a Daily News commenter, possibly a troll, who claimed that personality differences were involved. Meanwhile happy typing to Skye!