Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AHundred reasons to hate SpellCheck

You may notice by the title that this isn't going to be about MY NOVEL or Rufus Magee. At least, not all together.

I really did mean too; honestly. And I'll tell you all about Rufus someday. The novel will come up today because that's what started my feud with Spellcheck.

It isn't much of a feud seeing as how it's completely one sided. They don't know I exist! And do you know what else? They don't know that you exist either! AND THEY DON'T CARE!!!

Okay, that's note entirely true. If what you want to do is write a report on ability of mice to type the collected works of Robert Burns given enough time; or perhaps you need to tell the shipping department that the leprous nuns of Our Lady of Perpetual Angst have canceled their order for 20,000 boxes of heart shaped paper clips and they shouldn't be shipped. In either of these instances Spellcheck will perform to your highest expectation.

Now I'll tell you right up front that I don't care a fig about typing mice or leprous nuns. Well; maybe a little about leprous nuns.

What I do want to do is write about sensible women falling in love with vampires. (No, really, she is sensible.)


#1 It doesn't believe in contractions!

In 106,00 plus words, 100,000 of them must have been contractions. At every single one of them I got a little green squiggly line. When I clicked on the little green line a note popped up informing me that I was an idiot and no sane person would ever write can't when can not is obviously far superior.

#2 It torments me over passive voices.

I'll admit that I needed help with this one. Apparently in the first draft I all but rolled over and played dead i was so passive. So, okay, I fixed the sentence. It told me no, I was still wrong. I tried again, still passive. After 10 or 15 tries I usually gave up and removed the sentence there by changing the whole story and turning my hero into a villain. I mean; all it had to do was rewrite the sentence for me and I would not have been contemplating suicide every time I started writing.

#3 It cannot abide casual speech. (or at least writing.)

I never before realized how how much trouble and & but cause. The first few times I was told that I should not (not a contraction) I tried every way I could to rewrite the sentence it coming out sounding like someone who had ALMOST learned English as a second language.

#4 Spellcheck has gone politically correct.

Whats wrong with that you say. Nothing if you don't plan on using words like lady, gentleman, blond, woman, man, girl, boy, or bridesmaid. I was informed that I should refer to her as the brides house cleaner. For the others person seems to be the accepted choice. Have you ever tried to make "The tall person took the blond person into his arms and kissed it." sound romantic?

Yeah, I know. That's only 4, but I'm sure that there are at least 96 more. If you have tried to write a letter to a friend, you can probably come up with a couple yourself. I wonder if that should be yourperson?

I have to go now. Just thinking about this makes me want my medication.

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