Orem, Utah, USA

In a previous life I earned a small income training blind people to use computers with screen readers and voice boards. This was in the DOS era, and the word processor of choice — indeed about the only major word processor available other than WordStar — was WordPerfect.

At that time WordPerfect was still produced and marketed by its original maker, WordPerfect Corp., based in Utah (the product was later acquired by Novell, then sold to Corel; back in those days WordPerfect Corp. was well known for offering free lifetime technical support).

Anyway, whenever you started WordPerfect for DOS, the first screen you would see would flash by in a second or two, giving the program’s title and copyright; most people would’t ever see this, as it flashed by so quickly.

However screen readers “see” everything, so every time you started WordPerfect, the screen reader would dutifully read the entire mesage, including “Orem, Utah, USA”, which was the location of WordPerfect Corp. Except that the screen readers of the day weren’t smart enough to read “USA” as U-S-A, so they would read “usa”, sounding like “youse-ah”. So we would hear “Orem you-tah youse-ah”.

This little bit of audio is burned into my ears. And, no doubt, the ears of many others from those times.

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