This is from the official website of Literature Live!, which is going on in Mumbai as I type. It’s the listing for an event that’s happening later today.

What precisely is the meaning of “streached”? (Somehow, I don’t think they meant this definition from Urbandictionary.com, even if that’s what Chetan Bhagat and Shobhaa De do to the language, according to some.)

This isn’t the only listing with errors. On November 3, one “Anil Dharekar” was on a panel. I’m reasonably certain that’s meant to read Anil Dharker, who is, incidentally, the one who started this whole LitLive! business last year. I suppose if the founder’s name is misspelt, then everyone else is fair game. There was a panel about how to get published, which had a “David Dadar” on it. Could it be David Davidar or is there a David Dadar in publishing with whom we should be familiar? Given Davidar’s name has been written correctly later in the schedule, anything is possible. Farrukh Dhondy’s name is spelt differently on different occasions. For some reason, the Shashi Tharoor-Thomas Friedman session is described as “Two Brilliant minds exchange provocative ideas”. It’s sweet that LitLive thinks Tharoor and Friedman are brilliant but is that any reason to capitalise the B in the middle of the sentence? Also, according to LitLive “unreleased” is not a real word, which is why Vikram Seth’s “The Rivered Earth” is described as “un released”.

Incidentally, the Vikram Seth session was good fun, in spite of the presence of Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi who — oh never mind. That’s for another post. The point is, the session was fun and some of “The Rivered Earth” looked and sounded quite beautiful. I’m curious to see how much it’s priced at in India because it’s a slim book but beautifully produced. Forget anyone else or sales figures, I want to observe how I react to the price.

Coming back to the listings. Is it too much to expect that an English literature festival would have correct spellings and some notion of English syntax?

On an entirely different note, I’m now a day behind, so far as my NaNoWriMo targets are concerned. It’s a little depressing because till Wednesday, I was doing so well. In fact, Wednesday is a day I’m particularly proud of: I did 90 minutes of brutal yoga in the morning, came home to do some editing, then went into work at 2, met a couple of friends, attended a LitLive! session, came home and wrote my 1,667 words. Just look at that itinerary. A little lightbulb glows inside me when I think of Wednesday.

And then things started falling apart. Yesterday and today were awful. I meant to write yesterday morning but got distracted by books, then I realised I’d missed a pretty important bit in an article I’d already sent so there was no way to add that bit, work was light but I couldn’t write at work because that seemed wrong, so instead I faffed around. By the time I finally made it home at night, I was too tired to write. Today I discovered that I’d missed my yoga class in the morning because I didn’t know  the timings are different over the weekend. Not only have I not caught up, I have no idea what the hell to write. As of now, I’m Marvin the Paranoid Android, just without a brain the size of a planet.

This morning, I went to the NaNoWriMo website and found a pep talk by Erin Morgenstern, a NaNoWriMo regular and author of “The Night Circus“. Serendipitously, I’m reading “The Night Circus” right now and so far, it’s very good. So I thought I’d read her pep talk too. Good call. I rather like these three bits of advice in particular:

Never delete anything. If you can’t stand to look at it, change the font to white and keep going.

Take risks. (Microsoft Word wanted to autocorrect that to “Take care.” Clearly, Word does not understand NaNoWriMo. Also, this is why I normally write in Scrivener. Scrivener would never suggest such a thing.)

When in doubt, just add ninjas. (Ninjas do not need to be actual ninjas.) (But they can be.)

Now to go find me some ninjas.

18 thoughts on “Spell Check and Word Count

  1. “Is it too much to expect that an English literature festival would have correct spellings and some notion of English syntax?”

    Aare don’t be so uptight about it.

    The only time spelling really matters if when you get spam. Then it’s just hilarious.

    (It’s also fun when you want to wind Leo up.)

    Go on, be a rebel! Spell things wrong. Use American spelling! Gasp! How outrageous!

  2. i share your feelings about the spellchecking…. i find reading something that’s badly proofed a real pain!
    of course, you always spot the spelling error just after you hit ‘post’…

  3. spellcheck is evil …

    ” When in doubt, just add ninjas. (Ninjas do not need to be actual ninjas.) (But they can be.)

    Now to go find me some ninjas.”


  4. TRP, Yes, I’ve been told in the past to live a little, which I’m happy to do; just with correct spelling and syntax, rather than without, thank you very much. Spell it the American way or the British way. I don’t give a damn. Just spell it right. Leo is not the only one who gets wound up by that sort of thing. Grrr….

    Mad, here’s the thing: make an error in a personal blog post and I’ll let it pass. I’ll grind my teeth but I won’t snarl, for the simple reason that it’s not something official/professional. But mistakes, and particularly mistakes like these, in a proper listing is just infuriatingly daft.

    Mackie, don’t grin. Find me some ninjas.

  5. Stop flippin changing your template man. I can see only half your header, the comments are the pain to find and there’s too much white space. Useless fellow.

  6. Can’t WAIT for leo to see the banner.

    Oh, and I like the white space. It encourages the illusion that there isn’t that much text.

  7. TRP, yes, that is Leo’s brain up there. I love the idea of a redesign. It’s just so much bloody work to get it to look like you want it to, that I abandon it halfway. Like the background thing.

    Leo, I had a feeling you wouldn’t mind a new banner if it had your brain on it.

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