Monday, July 02, 2007

Oh, there's the "Imus grammar" toggle, it was there the whole time

I hope everyone's gotten the chance to read the new Revolver episode, and I hope those who have done so enjoyed it. Again, responses have been pleasant -- I'm starting to convince myself these things are actually good, and this conviction is either going to cause my ego to swell considerably, or cause me to write them faster and more often. I think we all know which result is preferable.

It's also interesting in that one of the things I wanted to do with Revolver was write low-key, character-driven, non-violent stuff...but in ten episodes I've punched three characters in the face and killed a cat. (Two, if you count Rebecca's first memory, revealed in episode two. Which you don't, because there's no way you remember that. I mean, it was one line in an episode over two years ago. Only I, with my Sorkin-like continuity skills, have that kind of total recall.)

But I discovered something interesting while writing "Tougher Than It Is": Microsoft Word is racist.

I'll bet you want some explanation for that. Not convincing enough all on its own? Hmph. Fine.

In Scene 3, Anthony -- whom you'll hopefully remember is black -- has a line that reads as follows:
How the fuck am I supposed to prove I'm not cheating on her?
Simple, clean. I actually deleted and rewrote the obscenity in that line a few times before leaving it in -- I wanted Anthony to be sympathetic, and somehow f-bombs don't lend a guy sympathy. But I left it in, deciding that he was pretty pissed off and prone to profanity.

But Microsoft Word had an editorial suggestion. A squiggly green line appeared under the word "am," signifying that it had a problem with my grammar. I right-clicked and read its "correction":
How the fuck is I supposed to prove I'm not cheating on her?
Yes, because young black men are incapable of properly conjugating their verbs, is that it, Microsoft Word? You should be ashamed of yourself.

Next thing you know, Word will be insulting helpless college basketball players, inciting a nationwide outcry, and losing its radio show.

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