Spell check: friend or foe?
I maintain that, whilst I spell excellently, I can't type for shit.
It's also a widely known fact that I cannot proof-read my own writing.
My problem is that my fingers are continually about a dozen words behind my thoughts so, sometimes (often), the words just get messed up.
Because I know what I'm saying, I read what I think I wrote.
The whole situation is exacerbated by the fact that I am always in a hurry; always behind whatever I have to do in a given day. I try to do too much.
Spell check should be my best friend, right?
It very often turns my mis-typed words into the wrong, corrected word.
I do know the difference between wandering and wondering; their, they're and there.
Spell check only knows how to spell them – and, sometimes (often), picks the wrong one to spell right.
I sent an email the other day answering a question about mon mari's work on the ceiling.
Email came back asking what a 'toe board' was.
Apparently I had mis-typed 'the' and spell check replaced it with 'toe', properly spelled of course.
If the words stayed mis-spelled I might find them when I proof-read (I do, you know).
I like to chalk all this up to my superior intelligence and the fact that I have such vitally important things to do with my time that I can't be bothered to be careful. (ahem….)
I can carefully read a post the day I write it and find no errors.
Two days later I can merely glance at it and the mistakes stand out as if they were highlighted in hot pink.
When it's something critical I ask someone else to proof it for me. I'm aware (even if I don't like to admit it) of my shortcomings.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Wednesday, amidst the drama with Emma (not recovered, but doing a bit better) the maire (mayor) called.
When I went in to do the annual renewal of our Carte de Sejour (permission to stay in France for a year) I asked him about the Carte de Résidence (permission to stay in France for 10 years). I wanted to know if he handled that or if I had to go to the Préfecture in the 'City'.
He didn't know.
Other Europeans don't have to do either of these things and there aren't a lot of us 'étrangers' (strangers) here in our little area.
He is now handling it for me, for which I am very grateful. (He's such a nice maire.)
He called to tell me that I needed to write a letter telling the Powers That Be why we want to live in France.
I can do that.
It has to be in French, of course.
No, he didn't tell me that… I figured it out all on my own. (Duh!)
I wrote the letter.
I have spell check in French.
I was rather proud of my effort.
Just to be safe I took it to our neighbor to have a look.
Other languages can be amazingly tricky sometimes…. a word or article in the wrong place can totally (and embarrassingly) change the meaning.
I wanted to convey how much we like living here.
I didn't want to convey that we're planning a coup.
My neighbor took the proverbial red pen to my letter with a flourish.
No, you say it that way when you are unhappy with the recipient; no you say it that way when you are known to the recipient… that sort of thing.
Then she asked if I wanted a professional translator to look at it.
I said no, thinking that it's supposed to be coming from me. If it was perfect, they'd know I had someone else do it.
So, I corrected all of my errors and took the letter off to the maire.
Then I sent a copy to another friend…. who took the proverbial red pen to all the spelling mistakes that my French spell check (and I) missed.
I said I didn't want it to look professional!
Trust me, it didn't.
When most people think of comfort food, they think of the starches: pasta, rice, potatoes.
Vegetables can be comforting, too.
Just give them chance…. They'll be kinder to your waistline as well.
Creamed cabbage – sounds terribly old-fashioned, doesn't it? I've updated it a bit…. But it's still simple.
Creamed Savoy Cabbage
2 cups Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup Greek or plain yogurt
paprika to garnish
Put the cabbage and chicken stock in a medium skillet. Cover and braise until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in yogurt, sprinkle with paprika and serve.
In addition to this, for the week of January 14 we have Baked, Crusted Sole, Pork with Leeks, Orzo Florentine, Pork and Caper Risotto (using leftovers), Chicken with Whole Grain Mustard….
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