…she said in a clam voice.


clam voiceEditing is tough work, but sometimes it is also inadvertently amusing.

One of the most important things to remember about writing is not to rely on your computer software to “fix” all your problems.  There are some powerful aids built into the products out on the market, but nothing beats a pair of eyes (or two pairs) for finding those potentially show-stopping miscues.

I’ve mentioned my occasional dyslexic typing before.  Whether it’s because of bad typing skills or reckless haste, I will juxtapose letters from time to time.  Most of the time, this will lead to obvious (and software-spotting) corrections.  Sometimes, though, the juxtaposition makes another word, unnoticed by non-human eyes.

As the example in the headline, one of my characters was speaking in a clam voice.  As vivid and imaginative as the final book is, I can assure you there are no talking clams.  I’m not sure what that would sound like, but I do have a feeling for how a “calm” voice would sound.

In another instance, the characters were trying to get out of a cage.  While that is actually plausible, there were no cages in the story.  There are caves, though.  Too bad the computer didn’t know that.

For a last example, one of my characters was speaking drily.  Since his pituitary glands were still functioning, I am surmising he was actually speaking “dryly”.  Spell and grammar check didn’t save me from that one either.

So the next time someone starts panicking that computers are making humans obsolete, stay calm and tell them to clam up.

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