I spent today editing Together. (For anyone who doesn't know Together is our national church news bulletin, a six page jobby...) I don't usually do it, but the normal editor was away today. It's usually fun(ish) doing Together: a bit creative, a bit technical, and you get to hear all the news from around the church - first!
But today, come 5 o'clock, I find myself suffering from numb bum and brain inertia. Why? - ask the computer. Go on, ask the pesky thing! Yes, it's all the blithering machine's fault. When I came towards the end of the editing process and wanted to export a page of the bulletin to a PDF file, the computer decided it didn't want to let me do that. So it spat up a helpful window onto my screen with some computernese gibberish about the PostScript output having failed (the post what? Does that have anything to do with the Royal Mail?) Anyway, after having got the ICT chap in (he had no idea), I then got my boss (who has a brain a bit like a computer, so I thought he might be able to help...)
So, what was the problem, I hear you ask? Are you ready?
I'd put commas in the filename of the document.
And the computer, poor, sensitive thing didn't like them. So it refused to do anything with the document.
Now, I have to admit, I'm not keen on the overuse of commas myself (I was an English teacher for seven years, so I know what 'comma-itus' is - that strange disease in writing which kills all other punctuation marks replacing them with an outbreak of commas so virulant that the piece of writing ends up being one extraordinarily long sentence...)
But, to refuse to do anything, just because of some - perfectly reasonable, I thought - comma usage in the filename? That's just the sulks, pure and simple.
Anyway, incredulous with disbelief, I changed the filename, used some full stop instead and - as if by magic - little diddums poor old abused computer worked a treat.
I have a friend - an expert in computers as it happens - who tells me that computers are female. I'll leave you with that thought.
I'm off to eat some coffee...