It would not surprise me one bit if every last person on Earth had at least one thing they were completely OCD about.
I have several, but my worst has got to be that blasted red squiggly line that appears under the last word I just typed. After hitting the space bar. I try to move forward, I really do! Instead, I find myself unable to move for a second; hands hovering above the keyboard, staring at the audacious intrusion on my screen much like Sheldon appears whenever someone actually outsmarts him. (That was a peek at my inner-geek).
Hand slaps to mouse like it’s a weapon – right click – select correct spelling from drop down list – annnnnnd breathe!
Shoulders relax. Twitching in right eye ceases. We’re moving on…
There are 4 different types of the dreaded red squiggly line.
- The obvious misspelled word: I have to fix these immediately. I can’t stop myself.
- The Proper Noun: (see below)
- The REAL word that DOES exist, yet is unrecognized by my
*@#$%&%software: (Also, see below)
- The word I just straight-up invented in a stroke of pure genius: I will force my software to accept these with that amazing little ‘add to dictionary’ option in the drop-down box. Because, I can. Creative freedom and whatnot.
Okay, so I do things a little backwards and don’t create my character bios / world glossaries (if needed) until after I’ve finished writing the book. I mean really, how the hell am I supposed to know every last character and place that will end up in the story beforehand? So, that is where the #2 type of red squiggly comes in handy.
However, #3 squiggly – you need to die.
Dear word processing software engineers – FIX IT! Link/Imbed/Cram Webster (and Urban) dictionary into your programming! It’s the 21st century. My Kindle notifies my android to remind my laptop to flick me in the forehead whenever I’m edging too close to missing a deadline, but I can’t use words like bona fide or deja vu? Yes, I realize they’re foreign, but so is adios and no red lines show up under that! Just like adios, though, they are in Webster’s dictionary. My favorites are naive and cliche. My software will actually automatically add the appropriate diacritical marks to them and squiggly them simultaneously! Oh, but thank you for Buckminsterfullerene. I’m sure I’ll be using that one real soon…. just have a few PhD’s to accomplish first.