Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hump Day Nerdgasm: A Cautionary Tale

We're all acquainted with the find/replace option in word processors, yes? It's a fancy little doodad that highlights a thing for us and then replaces it with another thing altogether. And there are JUST so many times in a human person's life when this tool comes in handy.

All-too-common scenario: The main character of the massive novel you have just written comes to you in a dream and says, "My name ISN'T Stan Mason. If you want to know my true name, look to the humble mountain goat."

This, as you realize upon waking, means you have to rename your character Wispy Wiggins (according to the strict rules of dream visitations). But what of all those Stans and Masons peppering your manuscript? The solution is none other than Find and Replace.

Your generally positive outlook on life is reclaimed! That sandwich you've been saving to celebrate Manuscript Submission Day is finally within your mouth-grasp.

But stay a moment. What's that sweet sound you hear? The siren call of the "Replace All" button.

You know you shouldn't, but you're just no match for its magnetic pull.

So you click it.

Important side note: The publisher didn't assign you an editor for this book, because there's been a nationwide shortage on editors. Because they've almost all been committed to psych wards . . . or something.

Only after the book has arrived in bookstores nationwide do you realize that you have been royally screwed by "Replace All."

Your timely passages about Kazakhstan? Those are now about . . . Kazakhwispy. Crucial references to the Mason-Dixon Line and mason jars and the Freemasons? Well, they just confuse the hell out of everyone. YOUR BOOK IS RUINED. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR SANDWICH.


Rant inspired by the recent War and Peace find/replace goof.


  1. Wiggins-Dixon line has a nice ring to it...

  2. I am deeply amused by the War and Peace thing. Deeply. Also, *whispers* I didn't know about Find/Replace. So now I feel stupid but ALSO better informed. The more you know...

  3. It may be best if you forget you ever heard about Find/Replace. LEARN FROM MY STORY.

  4. You know, I'm a little worried that the accidental replacements IMPROVED that fictional story.

  5. That GIF! The pup! Pikachu! I DIE!

  6. I AGONIZED over whether to use that GIF or not! For serious. Because when I saw it, I laughed for 5 minutes without stopping...but then I remembered my parents read my blog, and I was so torn! I'm taking your reaction as a sign that I made the right decision. ; )

  7. HA. That is the greatest. And thank you for the War and Peace link because that is also hilarious. Excellent nerdgasming.

  8. Their embarrassment is our nerdgasm. ; )