progress suggested that I have the manuscript professionally edited.
My brother, John, had offered to proofread any manuscript I sent to him
in lieu of a birthday present.
John is a member of Mensa, the top one percent of IQ’s, and has
Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high functioning Autism.
John is an excellent computer programmer because he thinks like one. Everything is on/off, yes/no, or
right/wrong. He doesn’t compute
sometimes, maybe, a little bit, and “oops!” That’s why most people can’t get along
with him. Like a computer, he’s
He’s been sending me eight page lists of line
edits for the last couple of weeks.
On the one hand, I’m eternally grateful for his help.
I admit the editor was right.
On the other hand, my ego is in the dumpster.
I need someone to argue with, but when you’re dealing with a genius and
your future boss, well, you just ain’t gonna win that one,
Then my brother sent me a list that I could argue
with. No, not with him; with the
It seems that I’d been typing compound words that
aren’t in the Word spell check program.
The computer said my spelling was wrong, so I added a space to make that
red squiggle thing disappear. It
turns out that I was right the first time. It never occurred to me that I could
argue with the computer.
John suggested creating a custom dictionary using
the list of compound words he sent.
I looked up the instructions in “help”, and it’s really easy to do. So, if your spell checker is calling a
bluff, check a real dictionary, and if you’re right, create a new listing in
Word. You can add it to the main
dictionary by clicking “add to dictionary” in the suggestions box, or you can
make your own custom directory that won’t affect the main
1.Click the File tab.
4.Make sure the Suggest from main dictionary only check box is
Create a file name for your new dictionary. Click on “add words” and a dialog box
will appear. Type one word in the
“add” box, then click on the “ADD” button. Add one word at a time, checking your
spelling as you go.
When you are finished, and click every OK button that appears,
your spell checker will now use both the main and the custom directories to go
over your work.
Adding words to the dictionary is better than
doing find and replace. For
example, the name of the bar in my story is Rosie O’Grady’s.
In one spot, I spelled it Rosy.
So, I did a find and replace, and clicked “fix all”.
Then, a few chapters later, I read “his Rosie cheeks…”
Some words can be used more than one way, and the computer just doesn’t
get that. If the word is added to
the dictionary, then at least you have a chance to click
Another suggestion John made was to do a search
and replace for my most common punctuation mistakes.
I know that the punctuation in a direct quote goes in front of the last
quotation mark, but for some reason, I seem to type “. Instead of .”. John suggested doing a search and
replace function for this mistake.
Type the mistake in the “find” field, and the correction in the “replace”
box, then click on “replace all”.
Genius, pure genius: you can’t argue with