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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i think it's a reasonable suggestion
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
A Rant, Totally Serious

There's a rite of passage in every fanwriter's life where they sit down with a new story, a new fandom, Microsoft Word (or word processor of choice), and determinedly go though to update their custom dictionary. It's like the tattoo of the fannish world. Once you have added phasers to your custom dictionary, it's never coming out.

This is a special time--a sacred time, really. Because these words don't exist and you will stare at them and think "so how is hyperspanner spelled?" and that just leads to like, eight hours on Memory Alpha reading about Klingons and you still don't know how it's spelled, but you have a working knowledge of how to propose marriage in Klingon with your teeth.

Which brings me to the point--we really, really need to just move into the new millennium and create ready made custom dictionaries for each fandom. Right, we create archives, communities, mailing lists, awards, and sure, I guess that's okay? But what about the custom dictionary? I'm just saying. What the hell, fandom?

Just want to put that on the table. Think of it--instead of the horror of trying to remember how to spell hyperspanner or dilithium or Romulan names, you get your Trek Spelling Dictionary downloaded and just toss it in and voila. You are done, unless you are like me and make up words and maybe convince like, ten people they actually appeared in canon, which if they hadn't been so damn picky, I wouldn't have had to lie, so that was a very important lesson for everyone. But. Fandom should get on this shit because okay, fine, I just spent several days running spellcheck and have to keep stopping, go back, and add new words and honestly, I'd rather we just standardized already. And you'd think I had them from Voyager? No. No, Voyager was several fandoms and like, four computers ago.

Yes, it hurt when I realized phasers are not actually real. It's been that kind of a day.

So This Isn't New

For the record: I will never finish this story. I mean, ever. It was all fun and games at twelve thousand words and I was tripping down the path of almost done, but it's twenty-two thousand, I've cut two thousand, added back in twelve thousand, there's no ending, and I have a horrible, horrible feeling that I'm having some kind of epiphany regarding the use of contractions again. As in, I keep forgetting to use them.

For Reference

My personal fannish religion is currently centered around Star Trek Reboot links collected by jmtorres. There are a lot. And they are awesome.

There are Lines Here

I know no one actually wants proof that I have crossed that nebulous border between fannishly neurotic and future astral wife of a fictional character, but okay, tell me how to handle V, one of my two best friends in the world went and hated Star Trek Reboot. After a three hour AIM exploration of meta commentary, competing themes, the use of alternate universe and time travel, social commentary in science fiction, the significance of Star Trek as a cultural barometer as we move forward as a society, the history of media science fiction, and how unbearably hot Chris Pine is, she--did not agree.

It's like I do not even know her anymore. I may have blocked her on AIM and sent flames, but not under my own name, so it doesn't count and IPs can be falsified, though not really very well. Which just goes to show, I really, really need a vacation or to finish this goddamn story. You know, whatever works.

Everything Else

Arthur the G1 was updated to Android 1.5, with added video support and a touch screen keyboard and some other things. Our love continues.

I need a better last line.

Oh hon,I'm so sorry about your friend. I had things like that with "Eyes Wide Shut" (worst-movie-ever) and "Boogie Nights" (other worst-movie-ever), where everyone else was spewing reviews they'd read in Newsweek and I was screaming, "IT WAS BORING and ILLOGICAL and I hated the characters so much that (during "Eyes Wide Shut")I just started counting the appearances of the recurring Christmas lights.

And I probably shouldn't get started on my meta-rant of "Bram Stoker's Dracula," and missing the entire point of the novel but let's just say if you have to *remind* people who wrote it, maybe you're getting off to a bad start. Also, Keanu Reeves? Srsly?

And honey, I hear ya. I have had this vexation ever since I had to spell "Cruciamentum," and apocalypse over and over back in my BtVS days.

In short, my dear, I say to you; Kapla!

I'm thinking I need a "crazy rant mode" icon.

(I haven't seen Star Trek yet. Between my back and J's schedule....WOE. But,hey, there'll be tons of fanfic ready when I do!)

Edited at 2009-06-01 11:13 pm (UTC)

THERE ARE NO K's IN KLINGON!

Or the verb "to be".

Seriously, I hate you, Marc Okrand.

There's a rite of passage in every fanwriter's life where they sit down with a new story, a new fandom, Microsoft Word (or word processor of choice), and determinedly go though to update their custom dictionary.

... I don't, actually? I mean, not that it's a bad idea or anything, but I think it took me something like two years of writing and spell-checking novel-length SGA fic to finally get around to adding "Rodney" to my custom dictionary so that it would stop telling me it ought to be "Rodent" ... let alone adding anything more esoteric. I suppose that the thought never even occurred to me to use the custom dictionary to keep track of that sort of thing; jamming my brain with useless trivia like how to spell the names of every one of the main character's friends, family, co-workers, ex-co-workers and enemies is just part of getting into a new fandom for me.

get around to adding "Rodney" to my custom dictionary so that it would stop telling me it ought to be "Rodent"

*SNORTScoughsWHEEZESchokes* Oh dear god.

the fans of star trek rpf are not rabid enough for me. why am i the only person who cares what exactly zach is drinking when he leads hayden out of the afterparty at teddy's? it's a clear, cylindrical bottle with a gray top, it should not be hard to find, especially for people who live in LA. it's like i'm in this ALL BY MYSELF.

I WANT TO KNOW THIS TOO. (I thought it was a can at first.)

Can the fannish custom dictionaries also be set up to say things like "are you really sure you want to describe her abdomen as taught?", "shutter - that word does not mean what you think it means" and "I have identified the words azure and orbs in a character description, I am now deleting your fic"?

Seriously, though, I think fannish custom dics are a great idea. I'm always meaning to take better care of mine, and instead I lose them on upgrades and have to begin all over again each time with the "No, fpreg is a word, really" process. And I don't even write fic.


"I have identified the words azure and orbs in a character description, I am now deleting your fic"?

dude, I *totally* want this function! that would be the best upgrade ever - I wouldn't even mind continually customizing my dictionaries with each new fandom if there was a reliable badfic detector available

I quite like the idea of fannish dictionaries. :)

Me too! Hosted on the archive and comes with your Welcome to the Archive Packet.

Because I'm just that awesome:

http://www.az.nrcs.usda.gov/mlra08/manuscripts.html

This link leads to a description and directions of how to export a dictionary from one machine, to be imported in others. Very useful when ready to send your manuscript in for English edit. Send a copy of your technical terms dictionary with it, could save the editor a lot of time.

You are deeply awesome.

*follows you around fandoms forever*

And in this case, omg, seperis!Reboot, YES.

(p.s. I am too stupid to have considered a custom dictionary, wow. Some of that may be, though, that I haven't (yet) written a fandom like star trek (well, I have, but they're in a drawer somewhere from years ago, lol) that requires tons of technobabble. I guess sga sort of does, but not as heavily as trek. )

Also, this? I have crossed that nebulous border between fannishly neurotic and future astral wife of a fictional character = best description *ever* of the process of falling into pon farr fic writing/imagining mode with a fandom/pairing/character.

I totally own my crazy is inevitably going to get crazier.

I completely second the need for fannish dictionaries, or at least an online resource (I'm sure there are already a few, but maybe we should compile them) that lists all the words and their accepted meanings/spellings...of course that might take some debate, but hey I'd be quite happy whatever the result!

One of my best RL friends ever has this weird way of ... it's like 90% of the time she's my braintwin, and then every now and then I come to her with this thing that is currently my GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, OMG, and she just goes, "Meh," usually with a fair critical reason that somehow completely misses the point of why the thing is utterly awesome. Like, due South is "kind of silly, and the plots don't make sense" - I mean, how can you actually argue with that? And yet! Also, she doesn't like DeVotchKa! What is this madness!?

Not that I think that everyone everywhere should share my taste. Just, it gives you an unpleasant feeling of being a cat who's just proudly brought its human a dead bird, and now the human doesn't seem all that interested in eating it. :( So yeah, I sympathize.

For Star Wars, we have wookiepedia plus theforce.net has a whole listing of various items for fanfic.

Fannish dictionaries are good!

As for your friend, I have a friend who although she loves Star Wars, she keeps dissing Ep. 1 which I love. So we finally agreed to disagree and never discuss it again. Once in a while, she slides back into argument mode and I just give her 'the look' and she shuts up and we change the subject. So just agree to disagree. Because even the best movie in the world has things wrong with it and you can either focus on the good stuff or the bad.

I love this post so freakin' much. But now that you have started adding to your own personal dictionary, it probably obligates you to share. Somehow.

no one actually wants proof that I have crossed that nebulous border between fannishly neurotic and future astral wife of a fictional character

*wheezes laughing*

I always find it insulting that "fangirl" *right-clicks, selects 'Add to Dictionary'* supposedly isn't a word.

I had to stop adding words to the dictionary... I kept accidentally adding the misspelled one and it sucked... badly. There should be an undo button for that... or for when Fandom finally agrees it's spelled one way.


The sad thing is, I don't really fight the computer over Fannish words. It's the words that the Texas slang as massacred. Like, why isn't spelt a word? Seriously, should be a word... as well as ruint. I spent hours trying to prove the computer had lost its min...



Kara's G1 got her update last night too. It is fun.

Hey, spelt is a word! (Of course, it's the name of a grain, not a past tense of spell, but still!)

And now I'mma go make that durn computer recognize the construction "I'mma go".

DAMN YOU WOMAN. People have been coming out of nowhere to worship at my altar!