Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shoot your Spell-checker

Just a short post to remind everyone that spell-checkers, to quote Monty Python, have the brains of a duck. They're good at picking up the most obvious typos, but they're no damn good at all when it comes to deciding if the word you spelled correctly is really the word you intended to type.

This morning was a prime example. I was under deadline to finish a brochure and was zipping through it as fast as I could (maintaining my renowned quality, of course). When I finished, I spell-checked the thing and corrected the few clear misspellings. Then I printed it out and proofed it by hand and eye, which I always do anyway but this time I was surprised at just how many real words I had inadvertently typed in place of the words I actually needed to type.

So here's what I found, no thanks to Microsoft Word's unutile utility; first the word I typed, followed by the word I intended.

Asserts / Assets
Heir / Their
Sage / Safe
Fro / From
Culminated / Culminates
Form / From
Asses / Assess
Experience / Experienced

You have been warmed. Er, make that warned.

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