Wednesday, April 30, 2014

There ought to be a word: Literally!

Now that the word "Literally has come to mean "figuratively", it would be nice to add a word to the English language that literally means: literally. Here is my suggestion:

The digit 2 is added to the word in place of using the word twice. Compare:
My friend literally died laughing last week; literally!
My friend li2terally died laughing last week.

Li2terally is pronounced the same as Literally. In speech, we can generally rely on emotion and context to decide which word is intended.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Word Clues (Word Clues 2):

I've been playing Zynga's Words With Friends (a juiced-up version of Scrabble). There's a site called WWFSTATS.COM that ranks WWF players and makes it easy to find opponents. One of my current opponents (he's a good player) goes by the handle GL-13. GL-13 happens to be a game designer (see the Kindred Games website). I just had to try out his current game. It is called Word Clues 2, but in the iTunes store, it is simply titled Word Clues. You can find it in the iTunes store here.

The game has a clever mechanism. You are shown part of a word with some blanks, like this:

 _ _ _ _ _ bank

You score a lot of points if you can guess what word the game is hiding. If you can't, the game shows you another partial word with the same missing letters. Now you have two clues, and if that's not enough, you get more clues to the missing partial word.

That missing partial word doesn't have to be five letters. So far I have also seen 3, 4, 5 and 6.

There are also "bonus" rounds in which you decide how many points to risk in order to see more letters, and then you get one guess at the word.

If you are good at games like Wheel of Fortune, I think you will find this game a pleasant challenge. If you are, like me, not very good at this sort of game, then it becomes an incredible teaser. On a half-mile walk, I thought hard/hard/hard, and was happy to figure out one of these words with only three clues.

Check it out!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A lesson in Proofreading:

I am currently proofing a page-proof of my second novel. This is not nearly the last page proof. My current efforts to proofread include such matters as checking for conflicting or illogical plot elements or actions, and making sure that my characters always stay in character. I am proofing backwards (starting at the last page), but there is so much on my mind as I proof, that I know I will not catch every typo. I expect, in the next round of proofing, to look only for typos.

Here’s an example of how thinking about my character’s speech almost caused me to miss a typo. On one page, I read this line of dialog:
“Why did she do that?”
I decided that in this situation, my character ought to say:
“Why would she do that?”

I took out my pen, preparing to cross out ‘did’ and replace it with ‘would’. However, I found that I could not cross out ‘did’. Here is the line's actual text:
“Why she do that?”

What a convincing way to remind me that many typos remain to be found.