Everyone Is Copy Pasting The Inventor Of Copy And Paste’s Death Announcement In An Endless Thread

by : Lucy Connolly on : 21 Feb 2020 17:42
Larry Tesler Cut, Copy and Paste InventorLarry Tesler Cut, Copy and Paste InventorNews18/Wikimedia

If you were to type in ‘Larry Tesler’ on Twitter right now, you’d be mistaken for thinking you’d got stuck in some sort of strange parallel universe in which everyone was stuck on an endless loop of copy and paste.


Because – minus the parallel universe part – that’s exactly what’s happening. Following the inventor’s death on Monday, February 17, Twitter users haven’t been able to stop quote tweeting the following: ‘copy and paste inventor Larry Tesler dies aged 74.’

The Twitter joke started when Sky News tweeted an article with that headline, as putting ‘copy and paste’ at the start of the sentence made the tweet sound like a command. Ergo, everybody followed the command and copy and pasted the sentence.

The joke is creating multiple long Twitter threads, each person copying and pasting the same message as follows:


News of the 74-year-old’s death broke on Wednesday, February 19, leading many to take to Twitter to pay tribute to Tesler and celebrate the work he had done to make computers more accessible to the public.

Tesler was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1945, and later studied computer science at Stanford University in California. It was thanks to his invention of the ‘cut’, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ demands that computers became simple to use (yes, I’m talking to you mum).

The computer genius’s prime focus was always human-computer interaction – AKA user interface design – and he put his skill-set to work at the likes of Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, and the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

Xerox, whom Tesler worked for until he was recruited by Apple in 1980, wrote:

The inventor of cut/copy and paste, find and replace, and more was former Xerox researcher Larry Tesler. Your workday is easier thanks to his revolutionary ideas. Larry passed away Monday, so please join us in celebrating him.


Our thoughts are with Larry’s loved ones at this difficult time.

Rest in peace Larry.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Technology, Computing, Copy And Paste, Death, Inventor, Larry Tesler


Sky News/Twitter
  1. Sky News/Twitter