When you read a lot, you notice trends. (And when you read every single page of every book you see, you even notice minutiae like the use/nonuse of CIP data on title pages, or the popularity of trailing phrase notes as opposed to traditional numbered notes, and other such items that most people wouldn't care about. Not exactly world-changing stuff ... well, maybe ... I mean, trailing phrase notes tend to discourage the reader from reading the end notes, since there's no way to know while reading the book that anything necessarily links to an end note, and you don't really want to read all the notes when you're already done with the rest of the book. So if there were something exceedingly important back there ... wow, that's a long parenthetical, even for me! Back to my subject!) Changes in spelling, changes in compounds ("any time" going almost exclusively to "anytime"), changes in popular punctuation ...
And, oddly, strange mistakes that crop up across books from different publishers.
Lately I've read several books in a row in which the same typo occurs: instead of "than," there's "that." As in "I thought the orange was different that an apple." It never goes the other way (never "What's up with than?"), and it usually occurs several times in the work, but not every time. Usually I can attribute such strange demons to a publisher's use of new design or copyediting software (suddenly en dashes instead of hyphens, for example), but what software would create the same typo, but so inconsistently?
Unless it's a conspiracy of authors, an amalgamation of authorial attempts to create typos in their own books, I have no clue as to why this is happening. Anyone else?
Poking my head up again out of the sea of electronic information ...
A friend of mine pointed out that Microsoft has made Express versions of its Visual Studio software (including Visual C++, Visual Basic, C#, etc.) free and available to all (see www.microsoft.com/express)! I've been working with my old copy of VS 6, since I could in no way afford the new .NET stuff, so I was thrilled to have this opportunity to upgrade my skills.
But it never being enough just to learn one thing at a time, I decided to learn how to program using OpenGL and DirectX (perhaps as part of my dream to eventually write for video game consoles ;) ). And since that wasn't enough (apparently), I also started learning to create 3D images in Blender, another free program (see www.blender.org). I've managed to create a human face and am working on a second; then I'll see about animating them and/or using OpenGL to integrate my 3D creations into C++ ...
All this, of course, while continuing to proofread. I'll have an update on that the next time I get a chance.
Well ... you'll just have to have a nose round, won't you?
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