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The joys of Word or the joy of words?

When Word red-underlines things like we'll, they'd, hadn't etc., you might be excused for thinking the program's gone crazy. And you might be right. The problem, if you happen to be running spellcheck (or even trying to read without distraction), is to figure out which particular kind of crazy. After all, those red underlines do kind of draw the eye, distracting from the joy of the author's words. So what's an editor to do?

As usual, the first answer is to try Google. Then try asking the same question 300 different ways. And finally, fix it. Which means I've now learned how to tell Word that certain words are not English (and that others are), and how to make Word make all the wrongly flagged Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish words revert to English (US) - or even English (UK) or English (Australian) if desired. So here's how it's done:

  • Open your document.
  • Go to one of those wrongly flagged words, and right click, then select language to determine which language Word thinks the word is written in.
  • Now open the advanced search dialog and the find/replace tab.
  • Do not type any words or characters to be found or replaced. Instead, click in "find what," then click on the format button at the bottom of the box. Click on language, and choose the language you want to remove.
  • Then click in the "replace with" box, followed by format and language, and choose English.
  • Then replace all.
Easy, right? Though how 8 different languages crept into one English file is a mystery yet to be solved.

The joys of Word, the joy of words, and the joy of editing, all in one!

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Read Reviews of Sheila Deeth's Books

If you've written a review of one of my books and would like me to include it here, please let me know. I love hearing from readers. All quotes from reviews used with permission. CHILDREN'S STORIES: Excerpts from reviews of Genesis People: Imagine a group of children sitting mesmerized when learning about the Creation of the World. (Fran Lewis, author of the Bertha Series of books) How I wish I had found Genesis People when my boys were young! (Ginna Vickory) I think they would have understood the verses better and had fun (Gina Carn) Adults will also see with new eyes and understanding. (Myrna De Mots, preschool teacher) ...fact-based stories capable of entertaining both the young and old alike. (Joyce Bergstrom) Writing with spiritual stimulation from true Bible stories, Deeth exercises “holy imagination” and takes us on a journey with fresh insights into biblical characters, their original surroundings and God’s heart for his people and the whole of creation. (Carl Lee

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Someone told me recently "Ventilators kill people," adding, "70% of people put on ventilators die. They're killing people." So I argued with her. But what if she'd written an article and hired me to edit it? What if her article began exactly as above? What would I do? My first "edit" would complain that "Ventilators kill people" is stated like fact while, since it's not common knowledge and it's not yet supported by facts, it can only be opinion. I'd suggest she change it to read " I think ventilators kill people." Then, if the article contains an argument to prove her statement, she could end with "So, ventilators kill people" as her conclusion. Next I would complain about the 70% statement, arguing that writers should not deliberately mislead their readers. Looking for minimal edits, I'd suggest "70% of victims put on ventilators die" or "70% of people put on ventilators still die,"