December 23, 2005

I won a grant, but Microsoft Word crashed my party

Microsoft Word is unbelievable. I just wrote a few pages about the experience of applying for, and eventually winning, a modest arts grant. The post was a reflection on the arts and the creative process. It was an exploration of applying for grants, and applying for things in general as an artist. It was the first thing I'd written for this site that was actually relevant to filmmaking. It was a great post. Molten fucking gold was flowing directly out of my head onto the page.

And then I had to leave, so I re-read what I'd written, got all warm and fuzzy thinking about how well-written it was, and clicked on the 'X' in the upper right-hand corner of Word. The program asked me if I wanted to save the document. Changing my mind, and thinking that I would instead leave the computer on and the document open, I clicked "no." Instead of "cancel."

Cue the late-90s Ben Folds Five song: "It evaaaaaaaporated."

Microsoft Word, if you were a person, you would be former FEMA Director Michael Brown: completely behind the times, ignorant of those you are supposed to assist, and unable to take any preventative measures whatsoever. Let me tell you something: computers these days have huge hard drives. In some cases, hundreds of gigabytes. Yet, in all your wisdom, you've been programmed to decide that the .asd file you generate as a backup every 10 minutes should be deleted the very second someone quits. What's that, you say? I should have saved the document at some point? Well, personally I think the action of saving is going out of style--Microsoft's own OneNote, for example, automatically saves as you go. And I was in the zone, writing. You're telling me you couldn't keep the 30KB file around for a few minutes? Yes, you're designed to recover damaged documents in case of power failure. But if someone closes without saving, they might as well be stuck on a New Orleans rooftop while you look for a dog-sitter. Prick.

On a completely different, non name-calling note, writing "late-90s" above reminded me: if you go see Good Night, and Good Luck--a movie I would probably call overrated, if I was aware of how it's been rated--you will see an opening title crawl that starts off something like "During the 1950's and 1960's..." Now, I'm not a spelling and grammar stickler, as I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes on this very site (thankfully, blog writing standards are not particularly high). I never learned grammar myself, really--somehow I skipped that part of school, and just learned how to write by reading. I literally (or illiterally) cannot tell you what an adverb or pronoun is. But I do know that you're not supposed to put apostrophes after years. "50s" is plural and correct; "50's" is not. It might not seem like a big deal, but when you're watching it scroll across a 30-foot screen, it kind of jumps out at you.

Now. I think it's safe to assume (and yes, I'm aware that "now" is not a complete sentence) that many sets of eyes saw the opening title crawl before it went to whatever the digital equivalent of optical title-printing is these days. Indeed, it is borderline offensive to assume that an entire crew would have missed the grammatical error. So perhaps it's a stylistic choice? Was grammar that different in the 60s? Was Clooney trying to evoke a different era through his subtle apostrophe use? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But still.

I'm going to stop writing now, and hit Control-S to save this document. And then I'm going to send it by telegram, hop on my horse and buggy, and play a game of basketball without dribbling.

Saving is dated. Microsoft, get it together.

At some point, I'll try to re-write the grant post. And save it.

Your Comment


The Mike Brown document you have linked to this post is simply disturbing. More so than the dog-sitter email would have to be the "I'm a fashion god," email. Looking for a dog-sitter makes him look indifferent and down right retarded at his job, but "fashion god?" Please. Talk about ego in a time when the LAST thing you should be thinking about is your own appearance, ESPECIALLY if you're the director of an agency like FEMA. Prick.

December 28, 2005 at 7:10PM, Edited September 4, 7:12AM


you're and idiot. you got exactly what you deserved. if you are dumb enough to exit out of a document without saving then you deserve to lose everything you were writing.

December 22, 2007 at 7:23AM, Edited September 4, 7:17AM