Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grammar Girl: Do Not Rely on Spellcheck!


This 911 call just slays me... Everyone likes to make fun of the husband because he can't spell 'eucalyptus', but come on! The 911 operator is asking him to spell it to him, too. It's 'eucalyptus', guys! You see it once, you never forget it...

I don't think I need to remind everyone that spelling correctly is important. And while I understand that not everyone could compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, there ARE sites you can use to confirm if what you're spelling is correct.

Do not rely on spellcheck! Puhleeze...DO NOT RELY ON SPELLCHECK! It will give you the wrong answer most of the time - trust me! Why? Because it's a computer, and it does not understand context. I've seen spellcheck give me 'their' when the obvious word is 'there'. Seriously. I almost hit my computer once.

Actually, I think this is the reason why we see so many 'grammatical' errors - we trust spellcheck far too much.

The better option is to understand basic grammatical rules (for things like the difference between 'their', 'they're', and 'there'...and 'your' and 'you're'...and 'to' and 'too', etc), and then use a site like Merriam-Webster to confirm the spelling of an actual word AND if whether that word is the word you SHOULD use.

Besides...what's the worst that could happen? You learn something new every day, right?


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