Rampant Abuse of Word Processors, Especially Word

There is no doubt that word processors, especially Word, together with browsers, have contributed to the widespread use of personal computers also by people who might not have started using them otherwise. But the positive contribution of word processors ends here. Unfortunately, they have done more harm than good by encouraging their abuse by so many people.

I am always shocked to find that so many people, including friends, colleagues and students of mine, use a word processor, mostly Word, exclusively for any text-oriented task. There is nothing more lamentable and inefficient than this, especially when the physical layout of the text documents they are working on is irrelevant, and only the textual information is relevant. These text documents include (custom-made) corpora, lists of words or other things, etc. Using a word processor for such tasks is likened to the running of an obese person; both carry fat/"fat" that is not only redundant but even detrimental to what they are trying to perform. Seeing someone (ab)using a word processor arouses more pity on him or her.

The abuse of word processors is so rampant that few (ab)users of word processors are even aware of other, far more efficient and light-weight tools for their text-oriented tasks. One has to be in a right time in a right place, i.e., to be surrounded by friends who use these tools, which include text editors, CSV editors, grep tools, etc.

Word processors are also based on a paradigm called "WYSIWYG", which is stupid by design and illusionary. This paradigm makes many of their users forget that word processors deal with three kinds of information: 1) text itself, 2) its logical structure, and 3) its physical layout. Many (ab)users of word processors are so occupied with the third that they cannot concentrate on the first and totally neglect the second. Actually, the so-called "styles" allow users to mark every paragraph logically, and each of these "styles" is connected to customizable physical layout, but almost nobody I know uses them, nor do they seem to be even aware of them.

The widespread (or exclusive for some people) use of Word has led so many people to believe that everyone on this planet must also be using this bloatware with its problematic format(s). So they send Word documents as email attachments indiscriminately to everyone without asking in advance whether he or she also uses Word. I am so bothered by this "cyber-violence", especially when the content of a Word attachment can be written with no data loss in the body of an email message.