lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Missus Em is miffed

There is already a file by the name 'xyz' and are you sure you want to replace it, my computer asks me every once in a while. Yeah, yeah, I grumble, I know I want to. It used to be worse, until a kind friend taught me how to change settings and reduce the annoyance of the mouse pointer always landing on 'no' as if making my mind up for me. That made my hackles rise, every time.

Windows is what I am used to, and Word is what I compose these deathless posts with, but there are some annoyances that rankle.

"Come on, I know what I am saying," I mutter as Word's spelling and grammar check suggests that I might want to consider 'lesson' where I typed 'lessen'. It also suggests, on occasion, that I ought to replace 'their' with 'there's' or that a sentence is too long and worse.

When I once wrote, 'Chat enables us to converse, and our personalities are revealed, common interests are found that much sooner', spell-check suggested changing it to 'Chat enables our personalities and us to converse'. Honest.

As an Indian, I use a lot of words, italicised or otherwise, that aren't found in Word's vocabulary. Fair enough. But its suggestions for Hathi, for instance, are heath, hatch, hat, hate, hats and heaths but not hath, which I ought to replace with hat, hatch hate, hats or hash, I am told. It even suggests that I change 'that aren't' to 'those aren't' or 'that isn't'.

If you doubt it, here is a spell-checked version of Jabberwocky, some words surviving only because there were no suggestions on offer:

'Twas brisling, and the stilly toes
Did gyre and gamble in the wade;
All missy were the borogoves,
And the mom rates outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwocky, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jujube bird, and shun
The furious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Long time the Manxmen foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought

And as in offish thought he stood,

The Jabberwocky, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffing through the bulgy wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hats thou slain the Jabberwocky?

Come to my arms, my bearish boy!
O frabjous day! Callow! Chalet!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brisling, and the stilly toes

Did gyre and gamble in the wade;
All missy were the borogoves,
And the mom rates outgrabe.

This is so routine that usually I click the "Ignore' button and go on, but on some days everything nettles. Yesterday was one such.

There were exactly two open counters in the bank and one manned by a rookie, since most personnel seemed to have taken a day off to recover from celebrating Holi and/or to fret about Madhyamik exams of their progeny. Word doesn't like the word Madhyamik, it tells me. Too bad, it can like it or lump it.

The real reason why I am annoyed, irritated, nettled, peeved, riled and more is something else. The Monday Blues. In spades, too. I come home after the bank irritation, library blues where no book enticed and think that there is always salvation. There are always crosswords, right? Wrong.

The first Monday of the month and the Genius puzzle, eagerly awaited: it is Araucaria, and a delicious twist of transliteration into Italian, where W is U, X is S, Y is I, J is G or GI and K is CH or C. Lovely, I say, rubbing my hands in glee.

This is the Genius puzzle, after all, so I print it out, rather than hubristically trying to solve it online with the interactive version. As I read the clues and the solutions leap up, I giggle happily, as this is Araucaria and at his best.

But. I like crossword grids the way they are. The symmetry and the blank squares are what make them charming.

Now this miracle of a crossword, this cup of forgetfulness I was looking forward to partake of and get over my day's irritations with, this month's Genius puzzle turns out to be, for the first time, a barred grid. I violently dislike barred grid crosswords.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lady, a barred grid is what I face each time I comment on your blog. May you emerge from your blues soon.

Secret admirer

8:56 pm  
Blogger Revealed said...

Much empathy extends for the general spirit of the post if not the particulars :D

Also LOL@ impoverished Jabberwocky :)

11:39 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon- Barred grid. Get a name.

Revealed- Hey, tell me, what do you use if not Word? Is it less irritating? And did you ever read the Latin vesion of Jabberwocky?

10:30 am  
Anonymous MaangaLiker said...

When I left these links on Nilu's blog to let him know about his fan following he deleted them and banned me from posting comments there.

Why ?

1:39 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

ML- How would I know?

1:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have such nice blog so whyd you to associate with such scumfest as Nilu by posting comments tehre? are u trying to prove ur cool?

10:42 pm  
Blogger Revealed said...

I use WordPerfect. Let not the name mislead you into thinking it's an enhanced version of Word. Cos it's not! The only thing they perfected with it was engendering more irritation in the users!

So instead I use this: 'supreme confidence in my inability to misspell/misgrammatize any word in any language under the sun'. It's very effective. Dya want a copy? :D

Noo never read the Latin version *goes off to ask Wiki about Latin J*

12:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O frabjous joy! Callooh! Callay! She chortled in her joy :). Just saw the latin, german, hebrew et al versions :D


2:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




3:29 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon- No comment.

Revealed- Good morning, and it seems I have already done my good deed for the day. :-)

So WordPerfect is free? Where can I get it?

4:17 am  
Anonymous Prophet of Doom said...

@ Missus Em:

Windows is what I am used to, and Word is what I compose these deathless posts with, but there are some annoyances that rankle. .. Windows does nothing but make life miserable for millions on earth .. switch to Mac (Watch this video ..

As for pure document editing, use Google Docs .. smoother than any desktop app ..

1:02 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Ram- Perhaps Windows does nothing but make life miserable, but like I said, I am used to it, and too old to learn new tricks. I feel chary about working on my documents online and storing them in a remote server rather than on my hard disk. It'd take a lot to convince me to use Google Docs, I'm afraid.

2:27 pm  

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