I’m new to Soul Mate blogging, but not new to writing. It’s my lifelong passion, as are words. Writers must love words. It’s a requirement.
I do love them, especially when they play games. And in the realm of technology, they do that a lot.
When words behave like naughty toddlers, that’s when I love them most.
I’m talking about the unholy three: voice text, autocorrect, and find-and-replace. They’re my enemies and my best friends. When it comes to comedy, I can withstand slapstick, without cracking a smile. But words? They get me every time.
Take the time my sister was feeling down. I meant to comfort her in a loving text, but instead I told her, “You ate a strong woman.” What a difference one little letter makes. That was autocorrect with its snarky humor, teasing.
Voice text, on the other hand, is less a joker and more an insane aggressor. Sometimes it hears voices of its own. Once it interrupted a chain of my texts to say, “Kong what’s wrong with me.” I had neither said nor typed anything of the sort. Like the infamous call to the babysitter coming from inside the house, the message came from inside my phone. I appreciated the correct apostrophe, but the missing question mark cut deeply into my English teacher soul.
MS WORD is the most complex trickster of the bunch. It hides behind a façade of helpfulness. But beware. It’s like a Boy Scout who offers his arm to a little old lady and then leads her in the opposite direction.
Yes, I’m talking to you, ‘Find-and-Replace.’ I tried to change a character’s name from Ruth to Marjorie without being specific enough, and I found myself victim to F-a-R’s maniacal sense of humor. It spawned a bizarre hybrid. Yes, every ‘Ruth’ was gone, but each time a character’s honesty came into question he was asked to tell the “tMarjorie.” MS WORD then had the nerve to tell me that tMarjorie was spelled incorrectly.
Just how does one spell tMarjorie correctly?
I’m one of many victims. A writer friend changed a character’s name from Tom to Doug, and throughout the story the day after today became Dougorrow.
Another writer responded to my request for the names of women singers a character might obsess over and helpfully suggested Green Stephani.
While attempting to explain the goal of a Facebook group, I announced, “It’s just a Raiders support thing. And by Raiders, of course, I mean riders. No, I meant write her or…let’s settle on writer.” I lost the will to text.
Another time I was wandering down the frozen food aisle at Albertson’s when my voice text shopping list reminded me to look for ‘fetal pp.’ I figured ‘fetal’ had originally been feta, as in cheese. I must have hit delete for something else to get the ‘l’ to attach to the word. I have no idea what ‘pp’ was supposed to mean. But it didn’t sound good.
Then there was the time voice text made me confess to drug use. After a ridiculous misunderstanding, I meant to text, “Damn, I’m amusing.” Instead, I told my friend, “Damn, I’m using.”
Word play makes me laugh every time. It plagues the main characters of both Exit Signs and Fresh Start, my two Soul Mate books.
Patrice Locke is a lifelong writer who started with a degree in journalism from Michigan State, worked in newspapers and radio, and then taught writing for more years than her math-impaired brain can count.