Having replaced my speakers (Thank you, Puppy!), I got it this time. The spell checker is amusing. In my case, it marks all characters' names, plus Japanese words. And of course it doesn't tell you, if the misspelled word happens to be in the dictionary and means something altogether different (i.e. public & pubic).
But what gets me is the grammar checker. It's totally wrong in a large number of instances, besides being useless when you're writing fiction.
Exactly, I.J. That's why having a good copy editor and proof reading galleys are so important. Still, mistakes do slip through. It's surprising––and frustrating––how many times you can read a manuscript or galley and miss something.
It's probably impossible to catch every last thing. Novels are monsters in size and complexity. I can handle both grammar and spelling as well as any one, but I miss something every time. The copy editors are very good at publisher's house rules. In my case they are also great on capitalization and hyphenation, both of which mystify me.
The business with the galleys (proofs) has improved since they transfer text electronically. If you keep notes on the prior revisions, you can do spot checks instead of rereading the entire ms.
By the way, I have always transferred changes to my own copy. This turned out to be helpful when we needed accurate copies for foreign clients, etc.
Yes, transferring everything electronically to a PDF copy does make it easier. And I do keep notes for each revision so I don't have to keep rereading the entire manuscript. I also make changes on my own copy as well. All good ideas to save time and make the whole process a bit easier. Thanks, I.J.
That is really funny. I wish I'd seen it when I wrote my columns about proofreading in the Las Vegas edition of Examiner.com. Mike Dennis and I write a column called You Don't Say for the Sisters in Crime Southern Nevada newsletter that deals with the foibles of the English language. This is right in step with it.