I RELY on that squiggly line. So what do I do when I want to write "find," but instead I write, "fins." That's a TOTALLY different meaning, computer, how can you not know that? A publisher reading the sentence, "Jane will fins her true love." will throw the manuscript out with an angry laugh for wasting her time. You have failed me, computer.
While it's a beautiful sight to see no red squiggles on my page, it's a comfortable deception. I still need to read through my work, especially for the glaring homophones that distinguish the educated (or careful) from the non-writers (or lazy). Wanting desperately to earn my keep in the former group, I know I must search for apostrophes when I want the contraction of "it's." Heaven forbid I use the wrong form of "there," as I might as well just start the whole page over.
Sometimes the grammar check, with its more pleasing green squiggle, will lend me a clue with those easily hidden homophones. But I've noticed that Mr. Green Squiggle doesn't always fit my voice and allow the leeway I need my characters to use. I am becoming color-prejudiced. The red line is almost always right, the green one can be ignored.
Then there's that devilish, quick blue line. Oh yes, the auto-correct. The times when the computer smugly assumes it's smarter than me and fixes what I've written without my consent.
Sometimes I'm extremely annoyed by the auto-correct. I am too lazy to hit the little "x" that tells auto-correct to knock it off. I just keep on backspacing, keep on backspacing, keep on backspacing over the word the computer wants to write in my war against the auto-correct. In essence, I am silently arguing with the machine about what word belongs - my made up word, or the computer's properly spelled, but misplaced word.
I lie. It isn't silent. Each type-over pounds the keys louder and louder, until now my letter "n" is nearly wiped off its key.
But I am old enough (oh, just barely) to remember typing reports on a typewriter that had no brain. I could, and did, type complete jibberjabber before hunting down the over-worked correction tape. If I were contemplating novel-writing twenty years ago, I would never have turned out a book. No editor would have had that much time, patience, or humor.
So the question becomes, which would I rather deal with - the pretentious professor of a computer that keeps trying to teach me what is not always correct or the "yes man" without a brain, accepting every word I type as fact.
The professor keeps my mind sharper, to be honest, while not disrupting the flow of thought. But the minute they invent the kinder, gentler teacher that reads my mind, I'll be the first in line to by it.
Arg! Where were you on that one, Red Squiggle?