Tuesday, November 15, 2005

LC: A Spell Chequer is A Good Thing

Not every author is an English major. Often writers struggle with mechanics on the final manuscript draft. One highly useful tool is the spellchecker that comes with my Microsoft XP software (but not without its problems).

I discovered long ago that the program has limits. For instance, it can’t distinguish “your” from “you’re” or “been” from “bin” from Ben”. I’m contemplating purchasing a second checker and running both programs to catch the big stuff but I will always hire someone to go over my final copy for grammar and continuity before I submit the manuscript---because even then errors occur.

To provide the cleanest copy you can produce you need to do several things: Readers are good—friends who have the time and the willingness to read the story and find mistakes. Some authors are blessed with mothers, husbands, sisters who can fill the niche, but if you’re like me and don’t have family available, then find a critique group and trade favors. Always read on hard copy; the eye is tricky and you won’t always catch the error on the computer screen. Don’t ever (unless you are an English major) submit the book without a second eye and even then a fresh read is invaluable. Authors are so busy with the creative work that often the technical is inadvertently overlooked. Make sure the word used is what you intended to say.

Though I don't know the author, I keep this little poem pinned to my computer:

Who wood have guest
The Spell Chequer would super seed
The assent of the editor
Who was once a mane figure?
Once, awl sought his council:
Now nun prophet from him.
How suite the job was;
It was all sew fine…
Never once was he board
As he edited each claws,
Going strait to his deer work
Where he’d in cyst on clarity
Now he’s holy unacceptable,
Useless and not kneaded…
This is know miner issue,
For he cannot urn a wage.
Two this he takes a fence,
Butt nose naught watt too due.
He’s wade each option
Of jobs he mite dew,
But nothing peaks his interest
Like making pros clear.
Sum will see him silly
For being sew upset,
But doesn’t good righting
Go beyond the write spelling?

Happy writing!

Lori Copeland is the author of more than sixty novels.


At 1:10 PM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

That poem is priceless, Lori! And so true! Thanks for the smile.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Bonnie Calhoun said...

the poem is great. I've put it next to my computer. Thank you for the advice! God bless you!

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous bad speller said...

I halve a spelling checker,
It came with my pea see.
It plainly marks four my revue
Mistakes I dew knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait aweigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the era rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

I've scent this massage threw it,
And I'm shore your pleased too no
Its letter prefect in every weigh;
My checker tolled me sew...whet dew u thank???

I've always enjoyed this one too... Or is that Two?


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