Monday, July 19, 2010

Spellcheck THIS

The Summer 2010 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine is now at the printer and I can breathe a big sigh of relief. One thing I do for every issue is put it past two freelance proofers as well as my own eyeballs and that of the individual columnists/authors. Then after all their changes and corrections, I do one final spellcheck. Every issue I seem to hit the same words that my layout program, Adobe InDesign, just balks at -- yes, I could take the time to enter them each into the spelling software as real, approved words, but I'm usually in such a hurry to get to press and pre-occupied with 10 other pre-presss tasks that adding to the word database is the least of my priorities. So every issue it tries to substitute "Smothering" for Smithsonian and "alley" for allee (a double-row of trees). The software suggests I put in "father in law" or "fatherland" for the wonderful shrub fothergilla and "licorice" for liriope groundcover! It kicks back every Latin plant name and term and I just have to trust that my source (usually the plant grower/breeder) is correct in their nomenclature. What I wouldn't give for a horticultural spellcheck program that I could have faith in.

This issue both my proofreaders and the spellchecker admonished me that "eclose" is not a word and I should use "enclose" instead. Well, ha! Not only is it a real word, but it is the exact one that fit the story in this issue from the Washington Area Butterfly Club. So friends, your new word for the day -- Eclose: The emergence of an adult insect from a pupal case or an insect larva from an egg. Slip that one into your next scrabble game. You're welcome.

3 comments:

Kenneth Moore said...

I found that entertaining. I constantly have a problem with spellchecker at work wanting to change "proline" to "praline," or just not even knowing what to do with "dimethylacrylamide." But at a weekly, such words are definitely something I force myslef to go through and add when I spellcheck--otherwise, in a long story (or an entire mag...!), it's just way too annoying...!

Ellen Zachos said...

Thanks for the new word! But there are only 2 esses in pre-press!

WashingtonGardener said...

LOL, EZ, and ironically, I did NOT spellcheck this blog entry. Think I'll leave the error as-is for future post readers to enjoy ;-)