Thursday, March 29, 2012

When Married Writers Argue

Yesterday, the family packed up and headed to Ajax for the CanDance competition. While I drove, the kids watched movies off our iPads and Lori worked at her laptop. Like me, Lori is a technical writer. Unlike me, she's a workaholic.

I love her anyway.

Halfway through our trip, Lori asked for my opinion about a sentence she was working on.

"Tell me if this makes sense," she said. "'You can use a preset to—'"

"Wait," I said, "a preset what?"

"That's not what I was wondering about," she said. "'You can ues a preset to—'"

"Stop," I said. "Preset is an adjective. A preset what?"

"Just a preset."

"No," I corrected. "Preset is an adjective that describes something, like a feature, that requires no configuration. It is set up in advance. The something is preset. What is that something?"

"No," Lori said. "It's just a preset."

"That's so wrong. Who came up with that word? A developer? Is English his or her first language?"

"It's fine. That's just the way it is. Get over it. I want you to hear the part I'm having problems with."

"I'd say you have a few problems."

"Why do I bother? Listen: 'You can use a preset to transition between—'"

"Transition?" I said. "As a verb? Don't get me started."

"This is why I could never work with you."

"And yet you want my help. Let me do you a favour: use preset as an adjective and transition as a noun. You're welcome. Trust me, your localization folks will thank me."

"Stop talking."

And it was here that the girls stopped watching their movie and told Lori and me to stop fighting. Yes, we were that loud.

Never get into an argument with writers. We'll bore you to death.


  1. Thanks, Sherrilynne. I fear you and I are losing that battle.