Last week I wrote about a survey that said separate is the most misspelled word in the English language, at least in Britain. Two out of three in the survey admitted that using spell-check on computers had made them lazy when writing letters or notes by hand. Here I must sound a word of warning.
A spell-check, which flags words that are spelled incorrectly, will approve of every correctly spelled word typed onto a screen even though the context may be wrong.
For example, the computer will happily accept the word made although the writer may have meant maid.
Here is a bizarre example. It’s called Ode to the Spell Checker and is available on the Internet:
“Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
“Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
“As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
“Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it’s weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
Apart from showing some of the absurdities of spelling in the English language, the poem does underline the need to treat a computer spell-check with caution. You may wish to proofread your text even though the spell-check seems fine.
I welcome your comments.