Its funny how I wrote a blog entry on how often do you write, only to find that for weeks, I’ve had no time to write. A number of friends fell in single file with drama and conflicts in their lives, and the responsibilities of Life kept rearing up its ugly head. Sadly, I’m not the most organized person. No one can accuse me of having OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). With any hope (and a good deal of luck) this will change and I can force myself to write daily and just ‘get it done.
The topic today, however, is not my own characteristic drawbacks but the very real problems of spellcheckers. Computers and programs are stupid; plain and simple. They only do what they are programmed to do, not able to keep in mind the broader and more creative aspects of writing. Slang, and words deliberately misspelled to mimic accent might get marked as an error.
I use them, but do not depend on them too heavily. I double-check words that appear outlined in red, and read the details as to why the grammar checkers deems I’ve managed another episode of ‘passive voice’. Woe to the writer who too quickly ‘adds word’ to a dictionary which is actually misspelled. (Yes, I’ve done that, subsequently having to look up the dictionary and delete the word manually).
Nothing takes the place of taking the time to learn proper grammar and spelling. William Strunk’s Element of Style provides an easy-to-read basic introduction to grammar. Spelling simply takes practice. I used to carry a small dictionary with me to correct errors, and now I lean on spellcheckers to give me the heads up on the misspellings, and I correct them before letting the spellchecker do it for me. This enables me to learn the proper spelling.
Check out Taylor Mali’s Def Poetry on the Impotence of Proofreading;
By Taylor Mali