Opinion 23: Immigrant Complex Of a MIDDLE-AGED In The Computer-Age

By Doron Zeilberger

Written: May 4, 1998

The Israeli humorist, Ephraim Kishon, used to say that in Israel (during the mass-immigration wave), mothers learned the mother-tongue from their children.

Something analogous to that is the predicament of anybody over 40 (with the exception of the tiny elite to which Herb Wilf belongs to) who is alive today. As hard as we try to learn to talk to computers, and as good as we'll get in mastering grammar and vocabulary, we will never get rid of our (proverbial) heavy human accent, and will always have to consult our teenage children/nephews/nieces for answers to questions that none of the manuals have answers to, but that the teenager will answer on the spot.

But it is still better to be an immigrant in computerland, to feel out of place, and to speak with a monster accent, than to go back to the old country,

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