Thursday, June 5, 2008

To Spell or to Curse?

I think, generally speaking, that spell checker is a wonderful invention. It can keep us from looking even sillier than we really are, usually by showing us our typos, and occasionally by showing us our misspellings before anyone else catches a glimpse of them. For example, that word, occasionally. The only reason I spell it correctly now is because spell checker has pointed out to me about 5 different times that not EVERY letter in that word is doubled. (Yes, I used to spell it "ooccaassiioonnaallyy"). I appreciate this.

I do, however, have a bone to pick with spell checker. That is, that besides just giving the facts about what's spelled correctly and what's not, it also sometimes expresses opinions, which, in my opinion, is not in its job description. This may sound hypocritical of me, having an opinion against expressing an opinion, but it's not. See, I'm human, and am therefore entitled to my opinions. Spell checker, on the other hand, is a program, and is therefore, NOT.

Maybe it thinks it's "going the extra mile." But what it doesn't realize, is that that's all about the kindness of going with someone who is already on their way. What spell checker is actually doing is trying to force us to go another mile that we never had any intention of going anyway. (I believe it is possible to sometimes take your analogy so far that you don't really know what you're talking about in the end. Then, if you have readers who still don't know what you were talking about in the first place?--sorry!)

When I hit spell checker, I have an inordinate number of words highlighted yellow. A few of these are the previously mentioned typos or misspellings. Sometimes they are names or Polish words. But with some, when you click on the word to get S.C.'s suggestions, none of them match what you were trying to say. This can only mean one of two things; either
a) your spelling was so far off that the program couldn't figure out what in the world you meant, (in which case you may find its suggestions comical) or
b) it thinks, "you've made up yet ANOTHER stupid word." (in which case you may not)
It may not say this, but you can tell it's thinking it. You can see it in the tint of yellow. This, I do NOT appreciate.

Let me illustrate. Ug. How is Ug NOT a word? Don't tell me I'm supposed to write "ugh." Wouldn't that be pronounced "uf" as in tough or enough? I like ug, thank you. And braggy isn't a word? On what planet? Instead of "I'm so braggy" do I have to write "I'm such a braggart?" HI! I'm not British! (referring to the Britishness of the word braggart, not the bragginess of the British, of course) And which makes more sense: "It's a real problem that I'm such an apologizer." or "It's a real problem that I'm such a person who apologizes." ? BE SERIOUS.

Well, besides my appreciation for your help, spell checker, I also offer you yet another new word. It's IGNORFULNESS. That's what I feel full of when you poke fun at my word selection.

something funny: When I finished typing up this post and hit spell check, apart from my examples of words that have been pointed out to me before, ONLY the occasionallies were highlighted! Looks like I'm STILL doubling the wrong letters! Ha ha ha!

P.P.S. I just read a comment written somewhere by my dad where he wrote "ugh" and it TOTALLY didn't look all weird like it does every time I try to make myself write it like that. I may be converted on that one...


sarah k. said...

Woof. Sometimes I use woof instead of ugh. Or sometimes just oof, but the rhymes-with-tough kind, the rhymes with tooth, if you can't say that "th" like a normal human.

Spell check also won't bother to give me an alternative spelling for sautee, and I am too lazy to type in the HTML for the accent every frikkin' time I use that word, which, as it happens, is rather often. Also doesn't like frikkin'. But that's SC's problem, not mine.

jonesfamily said...

And that's why I never use spell check! Life is better without a computer program mocking you!

KC said...

I can handle the spell check. It's Microsoft Word thinking that it knows everything that drives me crazy. It's always telling me that my grammar is wrong, and no matter how much I scream at it, it won't listen! It also changes words for you, because it thinks it knows best. Ug ug ug!

Katherine Bouldin said...

Your posts are cracking me up! I, too, have had a *word or two* with the spell checker before ... anyway, I don't remember being able to think let alone write creatively when I had three young children running around the house so how are you reserving & devoting such brain power to your blog?!? I'm impressed. Keep up the fun & interesting posts. K.

Lisa said...

Katherine- That's funny. For me, trying to post anything with a picture is what makes my brain explode, and you do it every single time you post! That's brain power! I really do just write so I can feel like I have something of my own apart from my family that stretches me a little (the biggest stretcher is trying to be regular and post every other day) I always think my stuff is so boring, I mean, come on, six paragraphs about spell checker? Hello! Someone obviously really has no life! I'm so glad you read and don't think it's boring! :)

Nance said...

In response to your last response, your post about spell check is awesome because we ALL have experiences with spell check and for the most part, I think we all have a love/hate relationship with it. I'm okay with spell check, I've just come to ignore it when it doesn't let me spell words they way I want to spell words... like okay, hello??? That's a word, why is it underlined all wavy right now? My big beef is with grammar checks. I can remember being in high school and thinking that this was brilliant, I was going to get As on all of my papers. Then I actually used grammar check and was gravely disappointed.