Do you use MS Word to do Spelling and Grammar checking?
To any writer living beyond the borders of the United States, and I strongly suspect inside them, MS Word is a pain in the butt.
Why do I say this? Let me give you a couple of for instances. Take the word its, or its other incarnation it’s. Word is continually monitoring the text of what you are writing, to determine when you make an obvious error, be it grammatical or a spelling error (in the latter case, depending entirely on which form of the English language you use). This is all fine and dandy, until Word decides to argue with itself over which version of the word it is querying is correct for a given situation, as it does endlessly with the above example.
This morning I am busy expanding the MS for my latest Sci-fi eBook The Next Age, which for those of you who have been following the excerpt posts on my blog concerning the novella, will be familiar with.
The reason I am engaged in expanding various sections is simply to give me time to decide what will happen in the penultimate chapter. To that end I began by decided to add the following two words – hard bitten, to describe a particular group of politicians and military personnel. Now, you and I both know that the words are used to describe tough minded, no nonsense, often red-necked individuals. Not so MS Word. For some totally unfathomable reason, according to Word, I needed to change it to hardest bitten! Where did that ridiculous notion come from?
Having used MS Word for several decades, and knowing the software’s idiosyncrasies and other peculiarities (faults) I now usually totally disregard anything it underlines in green or blue, especially when creating a short sentence which it considers to be incomplete in some way or other.
These days, the only time I do sit up and take notice is when MS Word underlines in red, which always means a spelling error.
Come on Microsoft, isn’t it about time you created a fault free version of the world’s most used writing tool? After all, everything else within the MS Office software package works well.
I hate to think what will happen within the software if Microsoft ever decide to add another function to MS Word, covering the use of full stops (that is the English equivalent of the period, for the benefit of my American cousins), commas, colons, semicolons, exclamation marks and the like in the future…