5.0612 Spools... [not to be missed. -- ed.] (1/54)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 20 Jan 1992 16:40:53 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0612. Monday, 20 Jan 1992.

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1992 11:36 EDT
From: John Lavagnino <LAV@BRANDEIS.BITNET>
Subject: Spools of tape

Surely all humanists have recognized the learned allusion made by the
engineers at IBM to the greatest literary work on the subject of
recording technology, ``Krapp's Last Tape'' by Samuel Beckett. No
``reels'' of tape here---Beckett makes it quite clear that the proper
word is spool, in the very first words of dialogue:

KRAPP: [Briskly.] Ah! [He bends over ledger, turns the pages, finds
the entry he wants, reads.] Box ... thrree ... spool ... five. [He
raises his head and stares front. With relish.] Spool! [Pause.]
Spooool! [Happy smile. Pause.] ...

And Beckett emphasizes the point again near the end of the play:

Revelled in the word spool. [With relish.] Spooool! Happiest moment
of the past half million.

Let's have no more impudent talk of ``reels'' of tape, then. The term
should be regarded as an embarrassing solecism, to be met with hoots or
restrained snorts of laughter whenever uttered by the ignorant.

John Lavagnino, Brandeis University