Thursday, September 13, 2012

Absolute Write blog chain: Se7en

Another stop on the blog chain with the fun folks at Absolute Write. This month is brought to you by the number seven.

The first thing I think of when I hear the number seven is the movie Se7en. Which is odd, because I barely remember it and wasn't a big fan. Honestly, what sticks in my head is how they spelled se7en, using the number instead of a 'v'. It reminds me of a little bit of research that has conveniently been turned into a meme.

I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.

Every time I see that I wonder why I have to work so hard to make my manuscript free from errors before I submit it. I mean, it's clear that spelling doesn't really matter. It's the ideas that count. Can't the editors just cut me some slack?

It also proves why it's so hard to edit your own work. If your brain knows what you're trying to say it will automatically correct most simple mistakes. It goes beyond just spelling as well - if we know the thought behind the sentence our brains will make up for missing or incorrect words. We read the idea and not the details.

What I like about this is that it shows the power of the mind and the importance of ideas. So as a writer, I want to make sure my ideas are good, that my readers can pick them up and follow them. After all, isn't that what we're trying to do with communication: transmit ideas. Words are just tools (but tools to be used with craft and care).

Though I will still leave my spell-checker on for the sake of those who find that upper paragraph a complete mess.

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 - (link to this month's post)
Ralph Pines - (link to this month's post)
bmadsen - (link to this month's post)
writingismypassion - (link to this month's post)
pyrosama - (link to this month's post)
areteus - (link to this month's post)
randi.lee - (link to this month's post)
wonderactivist - (link to this month's post)
BigWords - (link to this month's post)
meowzbark - (link to this month's post)
SuzanneSeese - (link to this month's post)
AFord - (link to this month's post)
Kricket - (link to this month's post)


  1. Love that "Words are just tools (but tools to be used with craft and care)," and I hated SE7EN. It was just too sick for my person to sit through for 2 hours. You're better off not remembering.

  2. I found myself not only misspelling but skipping words when I write and then smacking myself in the forehead for it. I guess this explanation is as good as any. :D

  3. I was able to read the paragraph with no problem. I guess that explains a lot.

    I didn't like that movie either.

  4. I heard of the movie, but I never watched it. I guess when we see that someone wrote something, the automatic assumption is they are producing something created with pride. So, now we have two areas to judge, the writer and the storyteller. There are many great storytellers who could make a killing if they were polished writers. It's a good thing we can pay for services in that area!

    I wish I had the skills of a storyteller!

    1. Storytelling is such a universal concept that covers many media. Writing is just one of it's aspects, but it takes a mastery all its own. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Best to play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

  5. The mind is certainly a powerful tool. And though I can read that paragraph with no trouble, I'm not sure I could read a whole book like that without getting a headache. So yes, let's use the tool with care. :)

  6. The way that I advise my authors to see things that they would read over is to change the font and the size of the text, to something like comic sans or a font you have ot pay attention to in order to read, you'd be surprised how well that works to catch those things that the brain and spell check miss. The other is an online grammar checker called Ginger. It's not a grammar checker really, it's a proofer in a file, it checks spelling and word usage by context.

  7. Great little tip on the font thing. And I've heard of Ginger, but haven't tried it. Thanks.

  8. Speller checker is a good thing, a pretty remarkable tool-oh, thank heaven! Pretty remarkable job on your 2nd paragraph, and it fully illustrates your valid point. Editors will always feel needed as long as I'm writing. Best wishes with your literary goals.

  9. I always cheekily pronounce the movie's name as "Se-Seven-En." Kind of like the way I'd say "Thir-Thirteen-en Ghosts" if that movie ever came up on conversation (it doesn't) or "Numb-Three-Rs" if anyone remembered that TV show (they don't).

    1. I remember Numb3rs. Saw a few episodes, but the 'everything can be solved with math' theme got silly quickly.