Saturday, 13 June 2009

Taking Back The Grey Matter

Alright, that's it.
I've done it.
I've turned off the spellchecker and the autocorrect on my computer.
It is banished.
And maybe now I can remember how to spell all by myself.
And my brain will stop melting.

I used to be good at crosswords.
Really good.
Of course I was living with my grandmother at the time* and used to be called in whenever she was stumped.
Woe betide me if I dared to give her the answer for a non-requested clue that she 'was getting to in a minute' but oh the basking in the shared word nerd satisfaction when I identified a word that unlocked a whole section of the puzzle.

I hadn't tried one for a while and then a few months ago I had a crack at the quick crossword in The Age, got two of them fairly quickly and then just ground to a halt.
I couldn't remember any of the... word thingies...
I got stuck on one possible interpretation of multi-definition words and couldn't even think of appropriately sized synonyms for them.
I got cranky and gave up**.
I decided to write a friend a balanced and objective email about how stupid the crossword was and how back in my day they picked words that didn't suck so much.

I got halfway through composing the email and I realised the following:
  • I couldn't remember how to spell one of the words I wanted to use and had been retyping it in a few different ways, waiting for the little wiggly line of failure to disappear so I knew that I had it right.
  • That whilst my already quick typing had become quicker that was because I was getting lazy with my keystrokes and depending on the program to autocorrect my ham-fisted attempt at English.
  • My email was peppered with z's I hadn't put in there and lacking u's I had because despite my best efforts the damn program keeps resetting to US English.

So I've turned it off.
And saints be praised, yes I do remember how to spell and dear Lord has my typing really gotten that bad and check it out I've remembered another word for incessant*** all by myself without hitting Shift+F7 because I couldn't be bothered thinking about it.

I have bought myself a book of crosswords.
Let it begin.

*Another side effect was watching The Bill which was actually quite good until it turned into a soap opera.
**Yay for being an adult! Eff you perseverance!
***It's ceaseless!

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