Monday, 4 August 2014

Another Set

I am so grateful to "D" who gave me another set of eyes to check for spelling and grammatical errors in what I hope is the final draft of my latest novel.

I suspect she stayed up later than she should have and endured discomfort (even pain) to complete the task. But it's done and I cannot thank her enough for all that she did and in such a short amount of time. Having recently edited Son#3's thesis, I can honestly say that proofreading someone else's work can be, well, hard work.

It was not without its moments. Time difference aside (she is in the US and I am in NZ) there were also a few giggles over different spellings. (I wonder if after sending off a few emails only to have me confirm that it was indeed the way we spelt the word here, if she began to think that I was making it all up and that there was no way anyone in their right mind could spell the word that way!) I guess because we are so used to American spelling in the books and magazines that we get down here, that we think nothing of it, but I'm not sure our spelling has infiltrated America to the same degree.

Words like: cosy and cozy, storey and story (we use both but they have different meanings), enrol and enroll, jewellery and jewelery, kerb and curb (again, we use both: kerb is the side of the road, curb is to restrain or check), realise and realize, gaol and jail - to name a few. While our American counterparts prefer to leave 'u' out of such important words as honour, humour, and Saviour, it seems that those with strong affiliations to Britain (or is it just us downunder?) have an aversion to 'z' unless it's the first letter of a word, preferring to write realise, criticise, and cosy.

And I don't know about others, but when you've looked at the same word again and again in a 60 000+ word MS, that word can start to look weird. You begin to question whether you really know that word: is that how it's used, is that what it really means, is that even how you spell it (it's starting to look wrong now). That happened to me with but and hospital. (They still look wrong.)

I think I can safely declare that my brain is now suffering from over-use. I don't know if it will ever recover. I suspect my friend is now enjoying a well-earned rest while I ... well I think I might go and knit a row or two and quit butchering the English language on my blog.