Those going without ‘word-replacement’ features.

IMG_0829The Salvia

The angle of his head wasn’t the only sign of despair. The way his left hand was clenching and unclenching was classical of a well nourished depression. Even those slightly interested in body language would know that. However, this man seated on the park-bench was attended by his very alert beagle hound. The dog wanted to be let free to chase ducks.  I decided to pat this dog and try and engage this sad person in conversation.

Lately, by much encouragement from my wife I wanted to put words in action and engage more. I usually steer well clear of raucous or excessive boisterous people but make generous exceptions for those that appear serious or sunk in gloom. They are often more interesting. A psychologist would probably agree and might well say; “there is a lot there.”  You just don’t get serious without good reason!

My Father was always hovering very close to being a serious person. Readers might remember he went to bed for six solid weeks soon after our arrival in Australia in 1956/57. It was too much. “Far out,” might well have been an expression totally justified. I mean the three legged German shepherd dog chasing huge rats around the old house surrounded by cranes lifting stacks of timber. The old 1948 Chevy pick-up on three wheels. The mud and the early morning bucket pissing ritual behind the flimsy partition. And…the house, contrary of what they had told us, wasn’t even owned by our old Dutch friends. It was all too much.

To make it short. After the advice of my co-blogging friends I discovered- none  too late- that my computer too had a button that would instantly change words all over my manuscript. It is called ‘word replacement’ feature. I had laboriously been changing Mum and Dad into Mother and Father, word by word, hour after hour. It was pointed out this could have been done instantly by using the 2013  Micro-soft Word ‘word replacement.’

I changed first Mum which was replaced by Mother in this replacement feature numbering 64 times. But, wait for it…! After I did the same with Dad into Father it did replace it 87 times.  I am not saying that both my parents weren’t equally loving. And, I wasn’t aware that the attention in this memoire manuscript was weighed more towards my Father than to my Mother. On reflection, Father was from my point of view more deserving of getting mentioned out of sheer sympathy . He just wasn’t the pioneering migrant. Instead, a man of dreams, questions and ponderings. A lover of the stars, books and celestial things.

The brutality of the change from the safety and security of Holland to the untrammelled lust for materialism with own house. The world of the Sun-Beam appliances, the yawning car-sales yards and everything on deposits and ‘easy-terms’ wasn’t for him. The New Country just did not beckon the same for Father as it did for Mother.

Mother on the other hand was the achiever and doer. Never to stop and reflect too much. She would be about making the mountains of Tip-Top sandwiches for her six children. Shopping, knitting, crocheting, sewing and making things. She was the accountant. The looker after our beds, warmth, food and comfort. Equally loveable. She would make sure that all obstacles could and would be overcome. Not a person to mope about. On the other hand, my Father, who liked growing flowers and try out gardening was seen by mum more as a way of saving money, not having to buy flowers or vegetables. The practical over beauty. The romantic and the thinker over the pragmatic, the maker and doer.

The man and his dog turned out to be alright. He had struggled for years not knowing he could have used ‘word -replacements’ all along.



Tags: , , , , , ,

16 Responses to “Those going without ‘word-replacement’ features.”

  1. Master of Something Yet Says:

    One of my favourite things about the word replacement feature is when it tells you how many it has replaced. Glad it has provided you with blogging fodder. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Seeing you are now the Master. How about showing me the button on Word for ‘Roman’ type. That will be my next hurdle.


      • Master of Something Yet Says:

        You want to change your text to Times New Roman font? Is that what you mean?

        If so, in your document, hold down the Ctrl key and then press A. This will highlight your whole document. Then you can change the font in the drop down box on the Home menu (the second box labelled “Font”). Quickest way to find Times New Roman is to start typing it in the drop down box. Select “Times New Roman” and your whole text will change to that font.

        Is that what you were seeking?


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Master. It is the New Roman type font required for e-type publishing. The Australian Society of Authors is part of an advisory group helping authors to get their words published.
        I am going to follow your instructions and will let you know.
        I am very thankful for your help.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lifecameos Says:

    I hope the beagle got to spend some time with the ducks, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Oh, he does. He is none too kind to ducks. They fly away.


  4. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Didn’t know about word replacement. God to know if I ever get serious about writing. 🙂


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There is so much out there, Ivonne. I had no idea. The world is seething with all sorts of serious stuff. How do we get to know about it all?

      Do people meet on street corners in the dark of the night, exchanging the latest about the internet?

      I never knew about Roman fonts or word replacements.

      We used to write with a pen dipped in ink. Now, we have our words infected with viruses and malicious downloads.

      Liked by 2 people

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        Yes sir you are right about the viruses and malicious stuff. I try to be very careful and hardly ever download anything except my own photos to Flickr or my blog.


      • sedwith Says:

        You can ask any format question and get an answer on the dreaded google. Or get a job in the PS and ask anyone under 40! but be prepared to be looked on as a geri when you start to winge about grammar or spelling or how people used to talk to each other at the next desk and not send f”%#ing e-mails.


  5. Big M Says:

    It’s funny, Gerard, since you began this assault on self publishing, I keep getting FB ads for ‘an introductory certificate in writing’, all on line, no lectures, and F all input from the course people for only $1000, for four weeks.

    They can probably sell me an Opera House, or Harbour Bridge?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Computers and software make writing ever so much easier, at least for me. But I couldn’t help but think of the insights you gained, Gerard, from noting the number of times your father was mentioned as opposed to your mother. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I didn’t know about word replacement. Very cool. This was also cool refreshing my memory of your parents arrival in Australia.


  8. shoreacres Says:

    it’s just me, so don’t take this as either criticism or advice, but I think Mum and Dad could have stayed. I like them — the words sound so comfortable. On the other hand, I’m glad you found a way to do the replacements easily.

    I discovered that I have Word 2002 on my computer. No wonder I can’t do “this” and “that.” I’m creeping toward a new one, and one of the first tasks I set myself was cleaning up my passwords — getting rid of duplicates, recovering ones I’d lost, and so on. My gracious — six hours it took!

    Here’s my word of advice: do not ever — ever! — get locked out of Google. You’ll be sitting on that bench for a good while — or throwing things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I have changed it back to ‘Mum and Dad.’ I am going through the whole lot again and after I changed to ‘Father and Mother’ previously discovered that ‘keeping Mum about it,’ ( remain quiet) it changed to keeping ‘Mother’ about it. Ha, ha.


  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Linda put this so well I can only add the nod of my head—I liked “Mum and Dad” too and for the same comfortable reason.
    I discovered for the umpteenth time that I have “Works” on both computers–not Word. At this point in time, it probably doesn’t matter. I just keep putting words down in whatever—maybe someday they will be discovered by a descendant who will wonder what on earth I did for a living?

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: