Happy Xeroxing Day

Well, we can all put our fox masks away for another year and move on to today’s reason for celebration: Xeroxing Day. You heard it here first folks. Not Mimeographing Day or Spirit Duplicator Day (I give a Pavlovian shudder when I think about the sound or smell of those old duplicators. Anyone who has spent any time in the principal’s office will know exactly what I mean. Hey, I was working on our class Newsletter, not there for detention. By the way, the colour of that ink used by spirit duplicators was aniline purple – aniline purple; the colour of exams. Insert another shudder here)

Xerox. It is one of those words which are proprietary eponyms like Kleenex and  one of many brands that has come into common usage as a verb. Like Hoovering. Though I think “xeroxing”is probably used less and less as photocopiers are used less and printers more and more. Seems to me that “xerox me a dozen of those” is a lot less likely to be heard than “print me off a dozen of those”. The use of please and thanks in association with the request, hopefully, has not gone out of fashion. Speaking of printers leads me to the topic of computers. Did you know that back in the late 70’s Xerox was also in the business of building personal computers?

Photo of the Xerox Alto, taken by Martin Pittenauer

Yup. Another little known fact: Steve Jobs first saw the computer mouse used at Xerox PARC. Jobs was described as being the fox in Xerox’s henhouse by Malcolm Gladwell in his New Yorker article, Creation Myth. (click on link to view article – it’s a good read) Xerox got out of PCs in the early 80’s and concentrated on becoming world leaders in “Document Management” and, well, we all know where Steve Jobs went with the mouse.

Computers may have taken over a large part of the document management field but there is one arena in which they still reign. Photocopying yer bum. Yup. I implore you not to Google (is Google a proprietory eponym?) bum photocopy – just take it from me that you get way more images for ‘bum photocopy’ than you do ‘bum scan’.

The naughty elf on the shelf – is he scanning or photocopying his bum?

I resisted the temptation to photocopy my own stern but did try to photocopy my face. It didn’t work out so well

The ghost of _oxing Day present.

Yes, Xerox has embraced the modern age; it has a Twitter account, a Facebook page with 1,337,275 followers (that astounds me really, who are these million and a third people who need daily updates on Xerox Corp?) and a Blog. But best of all, the Human rights Campaign Foundation has placed Xerox on the list of best places to work for LGBT equality. I’m sure they have many more accolades on their social media pages if you care to explore but as for me, I need to get on with my celebrating.



It only holds a third of what my Soxing Day glass held and I’m only having two!


© Judy Parsons 2016 except for Elf (from Pinterest) and Alto pics

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