The latest Daring Fireball got me thinking about the history of cut/copy/paste. Specifically, Gruber talks about the mnemonics and keyboard placement of the X/C/V shortcuts.
One thing he didn’t mention, but that I’ve always privately speculated about (you do realize this is my nerd blog, right?) is the cut shortcut (Ctrl/Cmd-X) being associated with an xacto knife. Beyond the mnemonics device, consider
- How computer desktop publishing replaced the “Paste Up” layout process, which involved lots of xacto knife cutting
- That the older unix text editors always refer to similar functionality as “yanking” and “killing” rather than pasting and cutting
I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I’d bet even money those early Xerox Parc/Apple folks had it mind. It’s a pity this kind of care and research went out of style by the late 80s.