b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Rant: I Hate Spell Check 

There's a scene in Outbreak where Kevin Spacey's character tells Dustin Hoffman to refrain from using an adverb. "It's a lazy tool of a weak mind," he says.

Reverse that (weak tool of a lazy mind) and you can sum up my thoughts on spell check.  Spell Check turns people into "trial and error" spellers. Don't know a word? Just type in whatever slop comes close and let Spell Check fix it for you.

Too bad Spell Check can't fix misuse (is it "too" or "to"? "its" or "it's"?). Those problems are just as prevalent, if not more so, than general misspellings. And since most people opt for the band-aid solution, as opposed to taking 30 seconds to learn the correct way, they go right on making the same errors over and over again.

Here's a suggestion to all of the Spell Check addicts: use Dictionary.Com when you're not sure. It's quick, it's easy, and it can help make the most marginal of spellers look like they know their stuff. You might even learn something.

(note: bear with me if I misspelled anything. I didn't use Spell Check).


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