Sunday, 17 December 2017

The part I hate most.

I've finally finished the last edit but one of Sod's Law. Now comes the part I hate the mostest: the bit where I get rid of all the typos. I read somewhere a few years ago that the best way to find and destroy typos is to read the book backwards. 

    It works but is the most tedious and boring and method of doing it. I then tried a couple of the most common pieces of software for this, to which I might treat myself as a Christmas present. The only thing is that they don't seem to have been coded by someone who's ever heard of regional accents or dialects. Or in fact anyone who speaks English like an englishman.

  Now even I'll admit that when I'm writing with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek some of the words and phrase I use are fine over here on the wrong side of the Atlantic, but probably won't be recognised by anyone else. The problem is that the software spent so much time pointing out my mistakes but completely missed all the absent full stops, commas and in fact just about everything else.

    Here's a case in point:

‘I am a policeman,’ the man said patiently despite the barely concealed agitation in his eyes. ‘Detective Sergeant...’ but got no further as something appeared at lightening speed from the edge of Arnold’s vision.
    The something was a hand - a very large hand. And it was now encircling the man’s neck. It was not a hand Arnold recognised and his eyes fixed on its long fingers, their length and girth clearly sufficient to crush the man’s spine. Furthermore, those fingers were currently squeezing with wrathful vigour. Arnold looked past the hand with interest and onto the pulsating arm, then slowly at the body to which it belonged. He could not stifle the gasp.

    Never before had he seen such a face. It was a woman, probably. A virago of a woman. High cheekbones almost pierced the skin as jaws laden with yellow teeth ground nauseatingly together. Her eyes, if it really was a she, were black and lifeless while from her throat a low guttural groaning denoted either imminent asphyxiation or a bizarre form of laughter. From the heels of her ten inch Doc Marten boots to the top of her masculine haircut she must have been six feet tall. And every inch of it was muscle as displayed through the skintight jeans and short sleeved t-shirt tautly stretched over a thin bosom-less chest.

    At first I compromised and changed most of it just to satisfy the whining of the software. When I'd finished, the passage bore no similarity to the original so I changed it back and checked it letter by letter.

    I'm looking forward to finishing this; my new one, Snodden, is burning a hole in my brain.

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