Many computers and many programs come with built in spell check software. Sometimes it's a life saver, and other times it can be just plain annoying. I'm not a fan of Microsoft Word — it's just too "omniscient," pretending to know what I meant to do or want to do next. It indents when I have no desire to indent, and it corrects spellings I don't want corrected. For instance whenever I was typing in French, Word would add an apostrophe to the word dont ... until I finally went into the settings and changed a few things. Grr!
The iPod and iPad have spell check also, which can be especially irksome. If you don't touch the little x in the suggested spelling, it pops the suggestion into whatever you're typing. And some of the "corrections" are pretty lame. It wants to change my hometown of Fostoria to distorts!
Through the years I have received various versions of a poem about spell checkers. The poem cleverly shows how homonyms would fly under the radar of a spell checker since those words, though grammatically inappropriate, are spelled correctly.
As I did a bit of research today in preparation for this post, I discovered that the original version of the poem written in 1991 by Mark Eckman was much shorter:
I have a spelling checker
It came with my PC
It highlights for my review
Mistakes I cannot sea.
I ran this poem thru it
I'm sure your pleased to no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh
My checker told me sew.
When the poem was shown to Jerry Zar, he wrote the longer version seen below.
Candidate for a Pullet Surprise
I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it’s weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.
A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o’er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
Bee fore a veiling checker’s
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we’re lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.
Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault’s with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.
Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word’s fare as hear.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw’s are knot aloud.
Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.
© Jerry Zar, June 29, 1992
Does your spell checker make any particularly annoying wrong corrections/suggestions?
"Character of steel is forged on the anvil of hardship." — Brad Lapiska
A friend wrote recently to say he got bit by a tick in Southern Florida and developed Key Limes Disease. (Limes — as opposed to Lymes — slipped right past the spell checker.) 🙂
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