Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Angry Man of Magic - Spulling mistooks

“Their coming too sea if its reel.”

See what I did there?

Did you? Are you sure? If so, you're probably in the minority of magicians. And you know when you're in the minority when, as a magician, you've performed for an audience that isn't a web-cam, wondered how 'blue bikes' could be used as a means of transport, or have ever kissed a girl!

If you're scratching your head like a client in a cut-price Turkish harem scratches his bits, I'll tell you the secret - I used lots of correctly spelled words, in the wrong context, to make a completely nonsensical sentence. Unfortunately, it still reads better than most lecture notes, booklets, instructions, and even several “professionally” edited books that seem to find their way across my grubby little desk!

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

You see, in days of old, us magicians were so paranoid about letting out magic secrets, we'd write them up ourselves. Alone. Our secrets were locked tighter than the Fritzl's cellar; suitable for us and the purchaser only. We'd even destroy the typewriter ribbon, and hand-duplicate the books, to stop the sweat-laden printer taking time out from his 18-hour day to learn such life-changing secrets as how to turn over two cards as one. So naturally, errors would occur. But we knew the pains the magi writer had gone through, so we were forgiving.

Nowadays, however, every magician has access to a word processor, a spell checker, and a grammar checker. The software is free, dammit! So there is really no excuse for spelling mistakes, or for using grammar that would embarrass Yoda after drinking a train of Jägerbombs.

And the Internet has provided us with enough connectivity that we can even ask a human (shock! horror!) to give our writing the once over. You don't even need to be in the same country, continent, or time zone. There are no excuses.

Know moore spulling mistooks!


Stijn Hommes said...

I write myself and I'm baffled as to how writers often ask questions but suddenly become embarrassed to do so when it concerns spelling or grammar.

You are right. There is no excuse and if you don't know where to look, ask me. I probably looked it up myself at some point. :)

I wonder, are there any copyeditors who work especially for magicians -- before you submit it to a company for publication?

darkstar said...

Actually I use Andriod, and the browser etc. still has no spell check. Granted. One can copy/paste easily enough to one and back around the horn.

Personally though I don't spell check nor proof read..lately I mean.

This is where we differ. Sometimes I will see the post the night before and see a spelling mistake. I leave it be. Honestly I could go on about something so simple for much too long, but basically I never found mild spelling mistakes (or more common slips of the fingers) any big deal. In fact I kind like to think I'm weeding out the OCD crowd, and don't mind if they think myself to "dumb" or "lazy".

Instead. I like the challange of having no spell check. I like the human side of mistakes.

Then again in a published work it turns me off a bit. Still, I won't be bitching about such in a review. Life is to short to bother with getting upset that the author shoull have typed "too".

Roland said...

Boy I feel so reminded of Michael Ammar's book on the cups and balls. Great book, but so many spelling errors. I notice and English isn't even my first language.

But it all depends. In a book... yes, no spelling error allowed. But on the Internet... who the hell cares.

darkstar said...

I guess your point was only books (?) I took the basis as spelling checks in general, online etc.

Books are horrible in magic! Some so bad the meaning can get horribly distorted. I stil have a hard time "enjoying" Classic Magic Of Jennings. Speling aside it goes to show how not to compose a magic tome.

darkstar said...

Woooo! He tied. I mis-read your article the first time. That's what you get from skimming a book called "Spead Reading For Dumbies"

Trickster said...

Big difference between a typo or slip of the finger, and bad spelling and/or grammar.

I see bad spelling and grammar in a published work as a lack of respect for the readers.

I won't even start on apostrophe abuse ;)