Microsoft Launches MS-Word Ultimate® With Poetry Checker

Redmond, WA, November 2, 2006 -- Microsoft Products announced today that MS-Word Ultimate®, available Spring 2007 and currently in the beta testing process, will include a Poetry Checker among its new features. While the product performs its designated functions flawlessly, it has nonetheless met with somewhat mixed reviews.

Using MS-Word Ultimate®, authors will now be able to auto-correct not only spelling (with obvious, but unfortunate exceptions: differentiating their, they're, there continues to be an insurmountable obstacle) and grammar (Redmond technicians have not yet solved the split infinitive but promise to definitely try, once they figure out what one is) satisfactory to an grade eight level, thus meeting the needs of Hollywood scriptwriters' supervisors and those of most media newsrooms, but now poetry, too, can be auto-corrected using advanced algorithms developed by the Redmond company's top-secret Pentameter Wing.

According the announcement, poetry passed through the MS-Word Ultimate® filter will be effortlessly stripped of:

Forced Rhymes: auto-format will instantly re-write the preceding lines to make forced rhyme unnecessary,

Abstractions: thanks to Intel's new Poetry Co-Processor, all abstractions will become concrete, making the author's poetical imagery transparent to all. The Co-Processor uses a predefined abstract-to-concrete matching system, e.g., sad becomes withered snail, I love you becomes Your cantelope's seeds delight my tongue, and so forth. (Metaphysical and romantic poets will still be able to disable this feature until it is phased out in version 7.3, due in 2009.)

Alliteration: auto-format rings a chime if it detects consecutive words beginning with the same letter,

Clichés: in MS-Word Ultimate®, now linked with the OED Omnibus Millennium Thesaurus, clichés will be referenced and instantly revised to new, original forms.

According to Microsoft, the product has been endorsed by none other than President George W. Bush, who is quoted as saying, "MS-Word Ultimate® premises a new aura of linguistical creativeness!"

Microsoft spokesperson Lila Tulaffahey says, "We have been working closely with PARC and our friends at Intel who produced the remarkable Poetry Co-Processor (patent applied) included in the new Sentium 7 chip, and are confident that a new world of poetry awaits us all. With the release of MS-Word Ultimate®, nine-year-olds everywhere will finally be able to produce flawless verse, not the refrigerator magnet mewlings we've all grown wearily accustomed to. We expect parents to be our top demographic."

Critics have either raved about or disparaged the new MS-Word Ultimate® as, "an abomination to strike fear into the hearts and souls of editors everywhere who will now be inundated with manuscripts of greeting card drivel like never before," or hailed it as the greatest thing since sliced bread, claiming, "Now every child will be able to produce perfect poetry, perhaps promising professors' praise."

Early beta tests at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have produced mixed results. Researchers at the MIT Linguistic Discovery Centre uncovered an interesting anomaly:

"We transcribed Shakespeare's complete opus into it with auto-format selected, and the entire text simply disappeared. It appears that MS-Word Ultimate® can't distinguish a cliché from the original. Looks like old Bill previously wrote every thought twentieth century poets have yet conceived."

By Frumious, Avant News Staff Writer

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