The greatest mistake writers make with a computer’s dictionary and grammar check is assuming the machine is always right and they are always wrong–including me. Most often this involves the spellchecker. The greatest mistake that I ever made was typing the word ‘nipple’ when I meant ‘nibble.’ Whop-Do-Whop! The computer did not disagree. Boy, was my face red.
Next, comes the watery-eyed laughs from poetry. I don’t know a lot about poetry, but I know that it is written with the same punctuation as any other writing. Let’s take this blip:
There once was a man fromNantucket who— Oh, no. No, no. You’ve heard all those before.
There once was a man named Jack
who carried a mule on his back,
and that’s a fact.
Not like this:
There once was a man named Jack Who carried a mule on his back, And that’s a fact.
So, if you wrote the sentence without putting it in poetry form it would look like this: There once was a man named Jack who carried a mule on his back, and that’s a fact. (See the punctuation is the same, whether it’s poetry or regular writing. Yet a word processor will disagree, and you’ll have to go back and change all those capitals.)
It would NOT be punctuated like this: There once was a man named Jack Who carried a mule on his back, And that’s a fact. (See how funny that looks?)
Another one that bothers me is the abrupt end to a piece of dialogue or an interrupted thought. The word processor insists on this:
“Don’t open that–.”
When it should be without the period:
“Don’t open that–”
All the computer will give you is this:
“Don’t open that–“ A backward quote at the end. Ugh, that’s worse.
So, you have to put the period in the first time you write it, and go back later to take the period out.
Author’s Note: I don’t mean to sound like a snot, laughing at other people’s mistakes. We’ve all made mistakes and we’ll make some more. That’s life. But if we can’t share and laugh about it, then what’s the point of blogging???