Posted in Reasons and Things

Five Things That Word Processors Just Do NOT Understand About Writers (or human beings in general)

Good afternoon, Cyberspace!

I apologize once AGAIN for not posting on time this week. I’ve had a lot going on that was–dare I say it–more important than getting this Smudge out on time.

GASP!

Anyway! I’m sure the majority of you know by now that I am currently slogging away at my current WIP, everlost, in order to get the first draft finished before Camp NaNoWriMo, which starts on April first. This, of course, means that my days are spent in continuous use of my personal favorite word program, Scrivener, as I burn my eyeballs out until they turn into a volcanic sludge and leak down my face like tears of fire write the remaining chapters of my book.

Naturally, using a word processor for so long–even one as flawless and beautiful as Scrivener–will eventually cause most writers to either A) groan in annoyance as they flop to the floor like a suffocating fish, or B) make our eyes twitch uncontrollably whilst slamming our numb fingers into the DELETE button.

Sometimes both. Simultaneously.

Because, no matter how hard companies try to tell us otherwise, Word Processers do not understand the average writer. At all.

They don’t know what I go through.

They don’t know my life.

They don’t know the pain and agony of trying to write a book.

They don’t understand that there are some stylistic techniques that I use that are quite possibly unorthodox, so will you PLEASE JUST LEAVE THAT B LOWERCASE, PLEASE, THANK YOU.

Odds are, if you write, you have already encountered the mass quantity of problems that come with a word processor.

In fact, if you use WordPress, perhaps you have already noticed how they completely butchered revamped the word processor that we are forced to use.

Isn’t it wonderful? I just love how all the things that used to be on the LEFT side of the screen, are now on the RIGHT side. It makes everything so much easier now.

*coughOCDcough*

Anyway, let’s get on with the Smudge, shall we?

Five Things That Word Processors Just Do NOT Understand About Writers (or human beings in general)

Number One– The Screen Scroller

For some reason, word processors have it imprinted in their tiny little mechanical brains that writers just LOVE being forced to stare at the bottom of the screen while writing. I mean, who doesn’t love craning their neck down to squint at the VERY BOTTOM line as they type?

Not me! That’s for sure!

Fortunately for me, Scrivener does have a typewriter-scroll feature, which allows the screen to move downward with the text, keeping everything nice and neat in the middle of the screen; however, I always manage to magically turn it off with the sheer willpower of my brain fronds and am forced to spend the next five minutes going through a bunch of combinations of keyboard shortcuts, such as CTRL+SHIFT+G+T, or CTRL+G+T, or CTRL+SHIFT+T+G, or CTRL+T+G.

And I never remember which one it is. But I do end up with a bunch of new untitled documents before I’m done, so that’s a plus.

Number Two– The “Oh! Let me capitalize that for you!!!! :P”

And yes. It makes that face.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever had to write a paper, or perhaps a title page, and at the very top you give it a wonderfully scripted title, such as–

THE SOAP THAT NEARLY BLINDED ME

–and beneath it you put–

by the infamous Kenzie

Now wait just a moment… Do you see it? That tiny little ‘b’ in the ‘by’? Do you see how nice it looks as a lowercase ‘b’?

No one (meaning me) would ever capitalize that ‘b’. That ‘b’ is supposed to be small. It is supposed to be insignificant. It is supposed to be a transition into the main entertainment that is my name. It is the appetizer to the main course. The Ying to my Yang.

It is supposed to be INADEQUATE.

Yet whenever I go to add that annoying little ‘b’ in Scrivener, it always seems to think, “Oh! The dense and possibly mentally handicapped human has forgotten to capitalize the first letter on the line again! I shall help the poor decrepit human, so that they will not feel bad about their awful grammatical abilities!”

And then–before you even realize what is about to happen–just as your thumb makes contact with the space bar, the gigantic, capitalized ‘B’ springs up into existence like the American flag waving over the golden fields of grain. And no matter how many times you delete and try again, you will never get that ‘B’ lowercase. Ever.

Unless you do some funky mumbo-jumbo, like write ‘By the infamous Kenzie’, move your cursor back to the ‘B’, delete and make it lowercase, murder a small sow, shave your head bald and toss your golden tresses to the wind, refrain from pressing the space bar, perform a blood sacrifice, and click back into one of the other words.

Simplicity at its finest.

Number Three– The Judgmental Squiggly Squig

Any writer who has ever come up with a name for a character in the history of ever has had this problem.

And don’t even get me started on writing fantasy. Just…don’t.

In my current WIP, I have two characters who every single time I write their names get the Judgmental Squiggly Squig. Every. Time. One of them is Thao, and I know that this is a real name, because I plucked it straight from the baby name patch at Nameberry.com.

But no. Thao, apparently, does not exist. And every time I go to type his name on my Kindle, it changes his name to Thai.

So apparently my story features a scientist named Thai Crowe, which, by the way, also gets the squiggly squig. Thao is having a very serious existential crisis right now. He’s wondering if he even exists. He’s wondering if his name is a lie.

He’s wondering if maybe it’s just the Judgmental Squiggly Squig trying to make him feel like a nobody.

Basically, that annoying little red line is laughing at me, judging me. It thinks I’m a loser. It’s saying, “Hey, I know you really like this name, but I’m going to make it look like your manuscript is so severely pocked with red lines that you’re never going to want to read it ever again! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

Number Four– The Non-Existent Squiggly Squig

Ever get so far into a draft that the Squiggly Squig decides that it no longer wants to Squiggle? This is the moment when you realize an infallible truth: the Squiggly Squig is both a blessing and a curse.

For those of us who have absolutely perfect typing, and therefore MAKE NO MISTAKES, PEASANTS decent typing skills, the Squiggly Squig is mostly a curse. The only times it ever appears is when we’re trying to say something in Elvish and ending up spewing random things like “Horffle Flaggle Florffle” on the page.

(Although that sounds more like a suffocating hamster, but we shall excuse that minor technicality for now.)

However, once you hit that point in your manuscript where the Squiggly Squig labels you as a lost cause and completely disappears…well… Now, you’re in for a treat.

Because now every time you write ‘and’ as ‘adn’, you’ll be completely oblivious. You also won’t realize that you’ve written ‘that’ as ‘taht’, or ‘its’ as ‘ist’, or ‘popping’ as–

Well…

Actually, even the Squiggly Squig cannot help you in that situation. I’m sorry. You’re on your own there, friend.

Or basically just any error that even remotely resembles a word in the English language will be glossed over in your determination to vomit the words onto the page.

The Squiggly Squig, you see, is similar to Nanny McPhee. When you do not want it, you will have it. Yet when you want it, then it is time for the Squiggly Squig to go away.

Number Five– The “That’s not a word!! Horf horf horf :P”

Very similar to the Judgmental Squiggly Squig, this happens to be one of its distant cousins on its father’s side.

The Squiggly Squig that squigs beneath REAL WORDS.

And for those of you who are scratching your heads and wondering what in the world I’m talking about, here is proof that I just recently encountered in my own manuscript.

20170314_143752

And so, naturally, I wanted to see what the Great and Mighty Scrivener preferred I change it to. The answer, I’m pleased to say, did not disappoint.

 

20170314_143844
Why, yes, I am perfectly aware that this is a terrible image. Thank you for noticing my amazing photography skills.

 

Ah, yes. Scrivener has finally pr oven that proven is not a word. How silly of me. I shall refrain from making such an obvious mistake in the future.

Learn from my mistakes, my friends. Learn from my mistakes.


Well, that’s all I’ve got for today! What kinds of things annoy you about word processers? Do they always give you the Judgmental Squiggly Squig? Do you find yourself hacking off your left arm to keep the ‘b’ lowercase? Tell me all your writing woes down in the comments below!!!

Also, I am extremely sorry for yet another late post, but hey! At least there’s always a post each week, right??? Right???

Right.

Next week’s post might be a little late again, because I’m still preparing for the countdown thing-a-ma-jig (which I’m still not sure if it’s going to even work out…); HOWEVER, I am going to do my best to get a post to you on Tuesday, even if it’s small.

*throws cookies in the air*

Advertisements

Author:

Christian, writer, blogger, dreamer, and full-time dragon enthusiast. I also like to fling cookies everywhere. Preferably at your face.

30 thoughts on “Five Things That Word Processors Just Do NOT Understand About Writers (or human beings in general)

    1. Ugh, SAME! I had to hop on over to Google and look it up! It’s like, SERIOUSLY SCRIVENER??? I have enough self-doubt about my writing already???? I don’t exactly need to question my intelligence when it comes to a commonly used word???

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is hilarious. I can’t imagine the frustration of constantly having a character’s name changed, that is something I haven’t encountered.
    The screen scroller is the most annoying for me. Thankfully, my processor seems to only auto-capitalize after a period, not on separate lines. But then abbreviations are a problem…
    “It is supposed to be INADEQUATE.” xD
    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It only seems to happen on my Kindle, but it is SO annoying!!!

      Oh yeah, I loathe the screen stroller, haha! And oh dear! Abbreviations are so annoying!! I completely forgot to mention them!!! Luckily there are very few instances when I have to use them, but when I do, THEY SHALL KNOWY WRATH.

      Aww, thank you so much!!! 😀

      Like

      1. “THEY SHALL KNOWY WRATH.”
        It’s times like this when I wonder if there exist assassins who are capable of killing people through laughter, and no one would ever understand that Ruler McThreat face was intentionally killed with all those dinnertime jokes…Because that phrase is surely the slogan they would use despite how hearing it would threaten their own lives… xD

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A very logical explanation! Poor Ruler McThreat face… He never knew that the power of laughter could kill him…

          But then the assassin’s would have to be VERY solemn faced to keep from laughing. I feel like it would be similar to when someone tells you “DON’T LAUGH!” and then proceeds to start laughing like a steaming tea kettle…

          Like

  2. Agh, yes!!! The Squiggly is SOOOOO judgemental!!! I can FEEL it laughing at me! Urgh. *pouts*

    And when it underlines actual words??? And makes you second guess your vision/intelligence/decision to be a writer… I have Googled legit words just to make sure I was right!! (And then, of course, I proceed to laugh nastily at the screen and say, “Joke’s on you, pal!!”)

    And the capitalizing things you DO NOT wish to have capitalized. So true… *distant wailing*

    Lastly, the scrolly thing!!! I never thought of this, but now that you bring it up, I have decided that THIS NEEDS TO BE INVENTED. And… I think you may have put some weird kind of spell on my computer or jinxed me or something because EVER SINCE READING THIS POST, WordPress has been SOOOO WEIRD about the scrollies. It won’t automatically move down as I write??? So I can’t see what I’m writing, if that makes sense?? I have to manually scroll down every time I add a line. CURSE YOU, WORDPRESS!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Squiggly Squigs are EXTREMELY rude. They are all judgemental and evil!!

      Ugh!!! Sammmeeee!!! Proven honestly had me second-guessing my intelligence. I had to confront Google, and then I felt like an idiot for believing Scrivener over my poor, low self-esteemed brain…

      Ah!!! That is not witchcraft you are experiencing, dear friend! Welcome to WordPress’s brand new word processor! Isn’t it lovely? I noticed the scrolling problem too, and I honestly can’t remember if it is what sparked the initial idea for this post, or if I started writing it beforehand and then was shocked by WordPress’s new and improved look. Either way, it now refuses to auto-scroll, and it is just SO wonderful! Don’t you just love it????

      Like

      1. Right? I can feel the Squigs snickering evilly whenever they rear their ugly little heads! *growls*

        Oh my word, NOOOOOOO!!! I didn’t realize that you were actually referring to what I had JUST THEN experienced!!! (literally the worst coincidence ever…) You know what’s weird, though? It’s different on different computers?? Which is strange because the changes should apply no matter what PC you use since it a WordPress thing and has nothing to do with my computer, but there it is…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, Squigs are always snickering. They’re evil little buggers…

          Ugh, isn’t it terrible?? WordPress used to have such a nice processor, and now it’s just…ew. I’m trying to get used to it, but it’s NOT GOING WELL.

          WHAAAATTT??? It’s different on different computers??? That is so bizarre!!! So now what am I supposed to do, go through the entire world checking laptops to see which one will actually scroll down on its own???

          Well…if it must be done, it must be done.

          Like

          1. Oh, I hate it so much! And you’re right – the old one was FINE!!! I mean, I never thought, “oh this is just the best word processor!” and it never struck me as particularly advanced or anything but it was clean and functional. WHY WOULD THEY CHANGE IT???? *throws bookshelf across room*

            Yes, it is so strange!

            Like

  3. Oh. My. Gosh. YES YES YES YES HOW DID YOU KNOW???
    All those things drive me INSANE. Like, every single time I have a name IT PUTS THE JUDGMENTAL SQUIGGLY LINE AND I HATE IT SO MUCH AND MY COMPUTER LAUGHS AT ME BECAUSE IT THINKS ITS SMARTER THAN ME….
    AND I HAVE TO SIT AND STARE AT IT AND WEEP OVER MY DOCUMENT BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE DRIPPED BLOOD ALL OVER IT BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE WORD IS UNDERLINED.
    And yes, I’m done.
    YESSSSSSSSSSS, I hate the scrolling issue. Seriously, I want to be able to read what I’m writing without having to wonder if my words are magically blending into the bottom of the screen………
    The whole time I was reading this, I was just laughing my head off because I know exactly what you’re talking about and it drives me insane. SO THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY DAY AND MAKING MY MOTHER THINK IM CRAZY BECAUSE I LAUGH AT MY COMPUTER FOR NO REASON!
    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ lol us writers have such hardships, don't we?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because I know EVERYTHING, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      Ugh, yes, names really are the worst!!! OH NO, DEAR BEAN, DO NOT WEEP! YOU ARE MUCH SMARTER THAN YOUR EVIL COMPUTER! *gives cookies and hugs and tissues and also some bandages to patch up the gashes in your document from the Judgmental Squiggly Squig*

      Yesssss!!!! Isn’t it awful? I hate having to manually scroll down EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I. ADD. A. NEW. LINE.

      UGH!!!

      I mean, I’m LAZY. Now the computer wants me to perform manual labor??? BLECH!

      Bahahahaha!!! Awwwwwwww!!!!!! That is so sweet!!!! Thank you so much!!! I’m so glad I could make your mother think you are crazy, bahahahaha!!!!

      We most definitely do!!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I ALWAYS get the Squiggly Squig. Except when I actually need it, as you pointed out. I don’t have Scrivener. I have Word. Which sucks. It never does what I want. And just when I think I have it figured out…BOOM!
    Also, may I mention the tragedy which is the keyboard? I henpeck, I’ll be the first to admit it. But I know where the letters are supposed to be, I know where the space bar is. So why is is thateve rytime I hit something, the keyboard changes theor der in which I hit it? (I didn’t bother editing that last sentence so you can see what I mean. Annoying, isn’t it?) I mean, I know when I make typos. It happens. But it’s always the space bar or shift or the apostrophe, every time, so I know it’s not me. Also because the letters E and R are NOWHERE NEAR the space bar. Seriously, it’s only those three keys. I’d accuse the keyboard of dying, but nobody else who uses it has said anything, so maybe it’s just me.
    Or the keyboard hates me. I’m known to be rough on them, so it’s very possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh!!!! I’ve actually never used Word, so I’m not familiar with that software at ALL, but I can TOTALLY understand! Scrivener is like a writer’s dream, but sometimes it’s just…

      no.

      Oh dear!!! That sounds like a very angry keyboard!! QUICK! GIVE IT CPR!!!!! Or a cookie… Either one will work… That would seriously annoy me, though. I have enough trouble not making typos with a keyboard that doesn’t completely rearrange my letters, so I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me!!

      Here is a cookie for your hardships, dear bean! *gives cookie*

      Like

  5. HAAAAAA I RELATE AND IT HURTS. 😭 Although honestly I do MUCH better with Scrivener than with word. Scrivener actually lets me have fragment sentences without pitching a pitch, unlike SOME WORD PROCESSORS I COULD NAME. *side-eyes Word* But omg autocorrect though. I don’t know if you’ve got autocorrect on your Scrivener but it is absolutely hellish. It corrects my words before I’ve even finished TYPING THEM so like woe is me if I get halfway through typing “coronation” or something but forget if it’s an o or an a so I pause to think and BOOM suddenly autocorrect is telling me I’m talking about corn. Like give me a chance, pls???? Let my poor brain have a moment to think??😭😂

    And names. HAHAH. YES. Like I had this character called Tark. WELL. He spent most of the book being Mark or Talk. I just…I cannot even. I GIVE UP.😂 I love you, Scrivener, but you’re killing me.😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, I am suddenly SO thankful for Scrivener, haha! I use fragment sentences a lot, even if it isn’t technically CORRECT. (IT IS A STYLISTIC CHOICE!!!) I don’t seem to have autocorrect on my Scrivener, though… I wonder if it’s something you can turn off?? OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I can only imagine how drastically the sentence will change once Scrivener changes coronation to corn!! That is EPIC!!!

      And oh my word, hahaha!!! Poor Tark. Sounds like he’s having an existential crisis like Thao, bahahahahaha!!!!!

      Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s