Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spellcheck Won't Save You

We've heard it time and again: Don't rely only on your word processor's spell check.  Do we always listen to the advice?

Maybe.  Maybe not.  I'm certainly guilty of relying perhaps too heavily on that magical tool.  But I've always had a pretty good innate sense of spelling.  Spelling was one of those areas in elementary school where I particularly excelled.

But if you want further proof of why you shouldn't rely solely on your spellchecker, here you go:

In a letter from management of the apartment complex I live in, explaining when and why maintenance would be in my apartment:

"We are so sorry for the incontinence and thank you for your assistance."

Do you see the problem?  I'm sure it's just an instance of spell checker fixing a misspelled word, but with the wrong word.  And it makes me giggle every time.

What are some of the worst spelling faux pas you've encountered, be they in your own WiPs or in things others have written (anything from newspaper articles to published books and beyond)?


  1. How brave to apologize for incontinence! Most people are too ashamed to address the issue directly.

    Not sure I want to know what kind of "assistance" was offered, though.

  2. Well, the one that got to me was in my old work world. Our Senior Vice President was named Stu. Spell checker liked to change that to "Stud." You can see where that could have presented a problem.

  3. That's too funny. I had, "We lead deeply spiritual lies," in one story. Oops. And many, many others. I can always tell on a submission if the author relied solely on the spellcheck.

  4. That's hilarious! I had the word "heroine" in my MS. I was talking about the drug "heroin" though. Spell check of course never caught it, but thankfully one of my awesome beta readers did.

  5. In college my "P" key broke while I was working on a major research paper. I caught most of the errors through spell check, but didn't notice that "place" was showing up as "lace". At least ten times. Whoops.


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