Weekend reads: NYT's overlooked obituaries, women pioneers of tech, why sarcasm doesn't work in email

Kristin Tyndall's read

While we talk about getting more women into technology careers, let's not overlook the fact that women were the original computer programmers. At the time, someone had to feed data into the computer via punch cards, and that job "was considered a form of clerical work," notes this Bloomberg View article. After Grace Hopper and Betty Holberton wrote a widely popular programming language, those feeder jobs disappeared, and men began to take over the field.

Kathleen Escarcha's reads

About to send a sarcastic email? I'd give that message another read-through. Research has found that sarcasm is especially difficult to detect in written communication, like text messages and emails. In face-to-face conversations, listeners can rely on facial and vocal cues to sniff out sarcasm. But when we text or email, those cues are missing, which makes the tone more difficult to decode. To ensure your sarcasm rings loud and clear, you could use emojis to add context or experiment with fonts to influence how readers interpret certain words.

The New York Times is uncovering and paying tribute to remarkable, history-making women—who (somehow) got left out of their obituaries. Since its publication, the NYT’s obits have mostly chronicled the lives and contributions of white men and have overlooked important women and people of color, such as Ida B. Wells and Sylvia Plath. The new collection, titled Overlooked, aims to tell the stories of the powerful people who were left out. If you know of someone who hasn't gotten their rightful due in the NYT obituaries, you can submit a suggestion here.


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