Having just gotten a newer model Mac, I was looking forward to learning about new settings and discovering what kinks Apple has sorted out since they produced my beloved white (now various shades of gray) laptop. With a new computer comes the need for new word processing software, and I tend to stick to Word, though only out of habit. The newest version has really improved on itself (yay MLA citation wizard!), although I’m not a huge fan of the default settings, which I’m still working on changing. Cambria? Really? I like it, but is that all of the sudden our standard font?
One specific thing that changes over time is our use of language. You would think, therefore, that with our changing command of the language would be accompanied by changing computer dictionaries, but no. Therefore, I’d like to take a moment to argue that, even though these computers are seemingly faster and stronger than their predecessors, some things just go overlooked, and don’t change! Blog? Blog. Not a word. All Word wants me to know is that I’m wrong, its ‘friendly’ prompt marked by a menacing red underline, which can be right-clicked to elaborate upon the idea that I’d better consider bog or bloc as alternative word choices, even though their meanings are entirely dissimilar. And perhaps even worse, the one word I try to use in every English paper, if only because reflecting on its status gives reminds me to broaden my scope of thought: Liminal. Liminal. In between. On the cusp. Transitional. How the heck does the system not recognize it as a word?? I’m spelling it right, yet can I even state that if the dictionary says that the term doesn’t exist? Was the writer of this dictionary that averse to change that it, like Winston Smith in 1984, must wipe out the idea that the painful bridge between past and present ever existed?
Needless, to say, I’m frustrated. I want to write a kick-ass paper, seminar, blog post, and there is that red line, once again, telling me that my work does not meet the ‘standard’ of proper writing. Telling mi that mi work does not meat the standard of proper righting. No red line, no problem! Forge on with your misuse of homonyms! Waste your valuable seminar preparation time by yelling at your monitor, revising your auto-correct settings, and ranting to your readers. Much more appropriate use of time. Wait – wasn’t this technology supposed to make my life easier?
Now you tell me: what word that you love to write does your word processor hate to read?