or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Some people are opposed to cheating in computer and video games. "That takes all the fun out of it!", they carp. Well, phooey on them, I say. I don't have a couple hundred hours to devote to getting really, really good at games, and believe me, I'm going to have a lot more fun with "Warcraft III" by cheating than I am by getting killed repeatedly and endlessly. Cheats don't take all the fun out of a game; they put a lot of fun into it. If I can have my Sims look at a magic painting instead of sleeping and eating, doesn't that give me a lot more time to have them live their little artificial lives? And isn't that more rewarding for me?

Even if I'm not going to cheat, I'm probably going to buy those game guides that spell it all out for you, so you know where to go and what to do. You can follow them slavishly, or you can just use them to get you out of a jam, but they're invaluable to people like me--people who aren't eighteen and have lives.

So I'm playing "Fable", and it's clear that I'm not going to get far without a game guide, so I go out and buy one (this one, which is pretty good). And you don't suppose I'd be telling you about this if there weren't typos in it, do you? You probably know better than that by now.

There are typos; I ran across one that, if I remember correctly (I didn't take notes), misspelled "opportunity" as "opportuniy", which means they didn't even bother with a spellchecker. Tsk. But what's actually more annoying than that is the repeated use of the would-be idiomatic phrase "wail on".

It's wrong. For some unknown reason, "whale on" came to mean "thrash mercilessly"; it's an odd expression and it evidently came out of nowhere. But it is "whale on", not "wail on". Using it--and using it over and over again--just makes the writer look dumb.


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