If you use the spell check feature you probably have found an additional problem. Some words are not flagged as needing attention because they are spelled correctly. However, their meaning is incorrect. In many cases one transposed or missing letter can make all the difference between an appropriate word or a malapropism.
Recently, I purchased new software and one of the inserts advertised an international scriptwriting contest where the winner receives cash, prizes and industry exposure. Past winners were listed and one line touted the 2004 winner who “… was quickly singed by CAA…” He was burned by them? Signed – I’m sure they meant signed.
Do you think sign manufacturers use a form of spell check, too? In front of a local 7-Eleven there is a disabled parking sign that warns potential offenders that the space is a “two-away zone” instead of “tow-away zone.” Did anyone who produced or installed the sign spot this error? Maybe not. Or, perhaps they noticed and ignored it because of the cost to make a new one.
I also have a friend/foe relationship with the auto correct feature that “helps” by suggesting words as you begin typing them. While this does save time, errors abound, giving us a chuckle or a huh moment. On a Facebook status, I read about Paris Hilton’s pantelis then the writer’s comment on the next line, “Gotta love smart type - make that pantsuit.” In another post I saw a reference made to Dissimilar and Gomorrah. Pretty sure that was supposed to be Sodom and Gomorrah or else there is a bible story I’m unfamiliar with.
Are we relying too much on technology alone for editing? While programs like spell check and the auto correct feature can quickly and easily catch mistakes and save us valuable time, I think editing needs a human eye to put words in context.
Have you ever experienced unintended errors due to a “helpful” computer tool?