Thursday, May 20, 2010

About Karyn, Custom Dictionaries, and Blog Stalking

I'm pretty sure I've written about my method for deciding whether or not to add a new blog to my Google Reader here before. Basically, when I come across a new (to me) blog, I read it. I'm talking I read the whole thing, back to the first post. Almost every blog on my reader is something that I've read in it's entirety. I figure, if the author can keep me entertained and not annoy me for that long, then they are worth one of the 200 limited spots (I have 173 now) that Google allows. Of course, this means that I can have a blog open on a browser tab for days, even weeks sometimes. I'm sure this freaks out people who check their stats. They probably start to worry that they have a stalker or something.

If you're reading this - I promise not to kill your bunny or go through your garbage. :)

I'll read a page here and a post there until I work my way through the archives. Sometimes I'll read part of the way through, and realize that this isn't a blog for me. Other times, I'll be reading and while I may enjoy the content, there may be some other thing the blogger does that irritates me so I know I won't be able to keep reading. For instance, I found one blog that I loved, but every single plural word that ended with the letter s had a freaking apostrophe too. Sorry, but I just couldn't hang with that. It jarred me from being able to read comfortably so I had to give it up.

Once I get all the way to the first post, I then go back to the main page and read any posts that have been made while I was reading the archives. Finally, I add the blog to my reader and then sort it into one of my folders there, where it lives until the author decides to bail on their blog, never to be heard from again.

I know. I'm insane.

So anyway, the blog I've been reading the past few days is by author Karyn Bosnak. You may have heard of her first blog, Save Karyn, that she started when she found herself $20,000 in credit card debt. That was the very first blog that I ever read, and I loved it. Sure, she got a lot of crap about asking strangers for money, but the fact of the matter was that she effed up, realized it, and found a creative solution to fix the problem, and then moved on with her life. She also got a book deal out of the whole thing.

Now, I have to say, I hate hate hate when novelty blogs become books. I love blogs like Cake Wrecks, FML, and Texts From Last Night because they're funny, but I'm sorry - someone else submitted photos to you and essentially did all your work. All you did was pick and choose from the pile and YOU get paid? So not fair. You are essentially the lazy kid in the group who did as little work as possible but still gets to ride on the coattails of the hard work of others to get an A.

However, if a blogger actually creates their own material and gets a book deal from it, then they get respect from me. Especially if they're funny and a bit self deprecating about what they're writing. I loved Karyn's blog - the whole time I was reading it I was thinking that I'd so want to be friends with this woman if she lived nearby. She Photoshops her cat's head into funny photos! She has a Yorkie! She likes to shop!

Unfortunately, once the debt was paid off, she didn't update the blog anymore. I was so sad, but I moved on. Well, last week on Twitter I discovered that not only is she on there, she's been blogging for ages and I just didn't know about it! She started a new blog after Save Karyn, and even wrote another book that is currently being made into a movie. Not only that, but after she got her deal for Save Karyn the book (which I own and have read) she donated all the money she got from the website to charity. See? She's good people. I feel like I found an old friend.

So all of this is to tell you about a post that she wrote in November of 2005. A post that I just now read and found so funny that I just had to share it. Now, I think most people realize that Microsoft Word has a dictionary that it uses when you spell check documents. I think most people also realize that you can add words to this feature if they're not already there. This is called the Custom Dictionary. What I did not know, however, was that you can access that custom dictionary and see what words you've added until I read Karyn's post. Apparently, this is a good way to learn a little bit about yourself. Karyn posted her words and the directions for how to find yours. Here are mine:

bok (as in Bok Choy)
chiles (yeah, I know you can spell it with an "i" too)
choy (again, as in Bok Choy)
Microsoft (really???)

To find out what is in your custom dictionary, open up MS Word, select TOOLS from the menu at the top, then click OPTIONS, then the SPELLING & GRAMMAR tab, then click CUSTOM DICTIONARIES. Make sure the box is checked, then click MODIFY. This will show you your list.

Try it one day when you're bored. It's kind of telling.

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Blogger Samara Link said...

You are a seriously dedicated blog reader. :) But that's actually really cool. I've done that with two blogs where I stumbled upon them and decided to read them all the way through from the beginning. Also, just read your tweets from this hour. Deep breaths. Sorry to hear you're frustrated. Not a fun situation. Deep breaths!

7:41 PM  
Blogger Tomer said...

> when you spell check documents. I

A good program is spell check anywhere (SpellCheckAnywhere.Com). It adds spell checking to all programs, including blogs, and offers an optional grammar check. Might be of interest.

7:49 AM  

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