Everyone has their favourite spellchecker moments; times when that ‘helpful’ device has come up with absurd or incomprehensible corrections. It wouldn’t be so bad if all it did was suggest, but like an overbearing teacher, it often goes ahead and corrects without even so much as a polite ‘ahem!’ in your direction – so that the first you know of it is when the text or update or tweet has already been sent, and you’ve suggested using pizza leaflets as firefighters instead of the obvious firelighters.
Not only that, but spellchecker is unrepentantly American. No matter how many times you tell it you’re in the UK, it insists on underlining your perfectly correct ENGLISH spellings of words just because you haven’t put a z where an s is, or because you refuse to chop the ends off perfectly good words – like dialogue because to spell it without the ue is simply WRONG!
And once you’ve dealt with spellchecker you come up against his croney. Grammar-checker follows close behind spellchecker and underlines all your perfectly constructed sentences with a plaintive wiggly line of its own; making your prose look like it’s festooned with Christmas tinsel.
You’d think I’d have a million examples of these. I ought to have; it’s happened often enough, but perhaps because I impatiently delete them and carry on, I’ve forgotten what they were. But you’ll have some, I’m sure, so let me have them, please – put your favourite spellchecker howlers below and let’s have a laugh. I know I could do with one.