Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

*wants to drop-kick the voice of Word*

I love Word. As far as I'm concerned, it's a must for people like me, who type too fast for their brains to keep up. I rarely look at the screen when I am typing, so mistakes are a given. When you add the obligatory typos and finger slip-ups, Word is an extremely helpful tool to have.

But however much I love Word, I still have to hold my hand up and admit that I quite often want to kick it up the butt. In fact, it's not often, it's frequent. Almost on an hourly basis, if truth be told. I admit that the squiggly red and green lines are helpful, no question, but sometimes I want to poke my tongue out at Word and tell it to stop being so bloody nit-picky.

The red lines I can live with for the most part. Word is merely trying to improve my spelling (or typing technique as the case may be), so that's all to the good. But sometimes Word doesn't have a clue what it's talking about. I've written a lot of Harry Potter fanfic over the years, so you can imagine the amount of red lines that appear in my updates when I am writing them. OK, most of these words don't appear in any language dictionary, but that's not the point. I don't want to type 'in the wizarding world etc' and be told that 'wizarding' is wrong, especially when the only option Word gives me for an alternative is 'wearing'. I mean, honestly, does 'in the wearing world' make any sense at all? There's the option to 'add to dictionary', but that's a bad idea for people like me, so I usually opt to 'ignore once' and forget about it.

Then there's the typos that Word misses. I always seem to end up typing 'sacred' instead of 'scared', but Word never catches it. I know it's a real word, but when put into the sentence 'Remus was sacred out of his wits' it really doesn't make sense.  Word was also responsible for letting me post an update all about the 'Whimping Willow' (OK, technically it was MY fault because I'm pants at typing, but that's not the point).

But far worse than the little red lines, are the Green Underscores of Doom. I usually get at least ten of them for every page on Word. The top two offenders are "verb confusion", and "fragment, consider revising".  Bloody Bloody. I can tell you right now, there's only one thing that's confused, and it's not the verb. As to prissy Miss Fragment, I don't want to revise, so there.

I usually get these green oddities when I am writing dialogue. To be fair, I write as I speak for the most part, and as I've certainly never swallowed a grammar dictionary, my conversation habits don't generally follow the Queen's English. Still, I like to think a written conversation sounds more 'real' if it's written as it should be said. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

In summary, I still think that Word is a necessary tool for people like me, no matter how many times it annoys me. I sometimes wonder, though, who it was who decided the wording on all those nit-picky prompts. If I ever come across him (I'm sure it's a him, don't know why), I'll be sure to confuse my verbs (whatever that means) just to annoy him.


  1. I can totally empathize Tara. I hate the green squigglies. What is even more annoying is that I am an English teacher.


    Man kicking computer graphic is hilarious!

  2. I write a lot of poetry. The green squiggle is my arch enemy! Fragment my patoot. I don't care, Word! Word can kiss it when it comes to fragments.

  3. You do know that you can turn off the grammer check, don't you?

    My pet peeve is when I type organiSation, and Word automatically "corrects" to organiZation, without even telling me. Bloody Word!

  4. Ah yes, those annoying 'z' and 's' switches. Do you know, I've completely forgotten which was is which on so many words. I spell some things the English way, and some the American way. I've gone past caring now...

    And you can turn off the grammar?? *learns something new every day*