I blame the spell checker

I recently complained about the standard of spelling and grammar by my team members. I'm now wondering if I was entirely fair to them.

It seems even clients are up to it, but this latest email has me wondering if it's less a case of poor education and more likely a software issue.

I certainly have a number of colleagues and clients who place an excessive confidence in their spelling and grammar checkers - and I won't even get started here on predictive text on mobile phones, that will keep for another day.

So did he mean what he said? In the case of this particular business it wouldn't be entirely inappropriate. Or did he fail to correct an over-zealous spell checker? Either way, I couldn't help chuckling at the request for "this year's profit before depression"!

Comments

this year's profit before depression"

Rudolf | | Permalink

Another sign that we are in a recession ?

 

remember those days when everybody

justsotax | | Permalink

use to proof read their letters (or someone else's)....typo's happen because most of us are not trained typists....the spell check should then be used to identify 'simple' errors....but is often used as the 'belt and braces'.  Proof reading is the best way, but how many people just write the letter, spell check and then print off for review by the partner....

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Eye donut ewes ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... they smell chequer, waist if thyme!

Avoid grammar checkers

waltere | | Permalink

The MS grammar checker is definitely best avoided.  I've collected some of its weirder suggestions, among them:

I've checked both pages in my original document and them look fine.
(instead of "...they look fine.")

The filing of emails was a bit hit and misses.
(instead of "...was a bit hit and miss."

...to give partners and manager's a better idea..."
(instead of "...partners and managers...")

What about you're other assets?
(instead of "...your other assets?")

It insists on treating "staff" as a singular noun, even in text marked "English (U.K.)", even though to British English speakers "The staff is considering the change." sounds decidedly odd.

I guess it just goes to prove there's no substitute for the human intellect.  Yet.

@justsotax - was "typo's happen..." a deliberate and ironic error?

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Why?

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

waltere wrote:

The MS grammar checker is definitely best avoided.  I've collected some of its weirder suggestions, among them:

I've checked both pages in my original document and them look fine.
(instead of "...they look fine.")

The filing of emails was a bit hit and misses.
(instead of "...was a bit hit and miss."

...to give partners and manager's a better idea..."
(instead of "...partners and managers...")

What about you're other assets?
(instead of "...your other assets?")

It insists on treating "staff" as a singular noun, even in text marked "English (U.K.)", even though to British English speakers "The staff is considering the change." sounds decidedly odd.

I guess it just goes to prove there's no substitute for the human intellect.  Yet.

@justsotax - was "typo's happen..." a deliberate and ironic error?

Surely the ' is to denote abbreviation of "typographical errors" , under common usage typos has become acceptable but typo's is more correct.

I hadn't thought of that

waltere | | Permalink

@Old Greying Accountant:  I so frequently see apostrophes being used (incorrectly) in plurals, that I assumed this is what justsotax had done.  My own view is that once the shortened form of a word enters general use, it's no longer necessary (or even, perhaps, correct) to indicate "missing" letters with an apostrophe.  I don't 'phone people, I phone them; I fly by plane, not 'plane; I've had my flu jab, not my 'flu jab (actually, shouldn't that be 'flu'?) and I have a photo on my desk, not a photo'.

So, to my mind typos is correct and typo's looks more like an error.  If justsotax consistently writes that he takes photo's (rather than photos) then I apologise.  But I still think that looks very odd and is open to misinterpretation!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I tend not to use the apostrophe ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... but that is because when writing (as opposed to speaking), as it is a more formal medium, I would write telephone; photograph. influenza innoculation and so on. Whilst I would use aeroplane or plane when speaking I prefer and would use the term aircraft if writing as it is more encompassing.

May be I am a dinosaur but these things matters to me, I hate jargon and abbreviations when writing (especially now we have computers) and only tolerate accronyms if they are explained in the first instance of use!

As you may have worked out, I don't text much as it makes my thumbs ache - lol

Consistency is the key

waltere | | Permalink

...Each to his own, I guess.  I'm firmly at the other end of the spectrum in terms of informality, even in writing - I'm perfectly happy with plane, phone, flu etc.  I find the Guardian style guide useful - I reckon if it's OK for a quality newspaper, then it's OK for me.  I'm also quite happy to start sentences with a conjunction (sometimes) and end them with a preposition where necessary and I have no time for the "no split infinitives" rule, BUT I'm strict about spelling and (the now almost forgotten art of) punctuation - it's all about making it easy for the reader.  I'm also not a big texter.  Nor a twitterer, I have to say.

P.S - Naughty, naughty - You didn't define "LOL"!  Useful if David Cameron is reading this post.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I find the use of ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... Guardian and quality together disturbing, and, if that bastion of all things Liberal and limp wristed promote such wholesale despoiling of the English language, with justification!

I have to say, for many years I was under the same misapprehension as Mr Cameron - mainly because most of the comments LOL is ascribed to certainly don't evince that reaction!

LOL!

waltere | | Permalink

...no, really!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Most uses of LOL ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... make me want to CRAP, that is Cringe, Retch And Puke!

Spell checkers are no substitute for proof reading

Jason Piper | | Permalink

As I discovered when an audit colleague asked me to explain the reference to tax on directors' loins in my tax note for her accounts. 

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