Friday, March 13, 2015

Front lines part I - Office Dell

My office computer is a Dell, unlike the mac laptops I usually use, but far closer to what I'd say most of my students use for their daily writing. Its Word is probably Word 2011, and is preset to Auto-correct and give grammar and spelling "services". One can change the AutoCorrect options by going to File, Options, Proofing, AutoCorrect Options. What I could not do was find out what Word it was for certain, or find out the difference between red squiggly lines and bluish squiggly lines. This may seem obvious, but I looked for a simple explanation in a place where people would look for it, and I never found it. Perhaps my idea of "simple" or "in a place where people would look for it" is altered by my mac experience.

It autocorrected definately and simply made it into definitely, without even asking me. It was defenetly that it had trouble with, and asked me if I wanted to change it to decently or defiantly before it gave me the option of definitely. This gave an important clue to what is actually happening on the battlefield. The ones that end up as defiantly are the ones that start out a little farther away from what was originally intended. On this dell word program, it gave simple definitions for the alternative choices, and I found this to be very convenient. I could read what decently and defiantly meant, until I could figure out which choice I needed.

The blue squiggly line came when I typed in Anther hand, which is something my Saudis would often try. It was able to offer Another to me, which I liked, but which still would be ungrammatical. Lots of Saudis produce Another hand in the process of learning On the other hand, but they are at least getting out there and using the new constructions that they have heard.

The program was unable to flag I am go, and simply left it there. My focus is on what actually happens in the trenches here; I'm moving on to mac programs and older versions of Word.

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