Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Editing gets into my head. I am about half way through obsessionally trying to find all the spelling and grammatical glitches in my current book. Also trying to spot where I’ve got the time line wrong, or accidentally muddled the plot. There are a number of problems that are almost unique to this activity, the first being that Microsoft Word is insane. For example in this paragraph it thinks obsessionally should be spelled obsession ally. I don’t know who this ally is, or what he or she is obsessed about but I wish he or she would get out of my text. Note the “he or she” there. If I put they, word green lines it and wants to change it to he or she.
I also hate the way that it can’t make up its mind. Actually, Word is not alone in having these problems, (wordiness, consider revision), The ‘Pages’ app on the iPad can’t decide what to do about z. If I write realized, it changes it to realised, then it decides that is wrong and suggests I change it back. I have encountered similar circular idiocies in Word, but fortunately, I have managed to train myself not to record them.
 After a few hours, it becomes necessary to watch the TV or go shopping, just to give my eyes a break from the screen. We went to what might be called an out of town shopping centre, if it was out of town. One of those assemblages of prominent branded retailers all in large shed with a big car park.
I guess they have such a lot of trade that it makes sense to have a restaurant as well. There is a drive through KFC. As you come into the car park there is a sign that says “DRIVE THROUGH PARKING” Normally I can steer past this without my blood pressure changing a millimetre; after a morning of editing a phase like that causes problems.
There cannot be such a thing as drive through parking. Parking, and driving through, are mutually exclusive; you cannot do both at once. [Word thinks that should be “Parking, and driving through, is mutually exclusive”.]
The sign could be amended to Parking and Drive Through, or maybe KFC Drive Through, with Extra Parking. Better still might be a sign that says, “Do Not Read When Editing.”