The Loom

Spelling, Shpelling

Sorry about the mistake on the last post’s headline. (Vengeans? Sort of like vengeful vegans?) Spell-checkers have turned my brain to mush.

Comments

  1. #1 Ben Zimmer
    November 2, 2007

    Oh, sure, blame it on spellcheckers!

  2. #2 Scott Belyea
    November 2, 2007

    Not often I have the opportunity to make the same comment to two brothers, each of whom has an admirable blog. To quote myself from OUPblog …

    My sympathy is limited.

    Now that we have good tools which allow us to reduce the burden of careful proofreading, we whine because we don’t like the results of not proofreading what the tools suggest…

    Yes, yes – I know you weren’t whining. That part was really directed at a piece of the article on which I was commenting at OUPblog.

  3. #3 Stephen
    November 2, 2007

    Spell checkers saved my spelling ability. Really. But for it to work, you have to actually look to see what got corrected, and imagine how the error crept in. Do you really not know how to spell it? Do your fingers automatically add an extra letter?

    But only careful proofreading will save you form all mistakes.

  4. #4 Scott Belyea
    November 2, 2007

    But only careful proofreading will save you form all mistakes.

    Well put …

  5. #5 Ben Zimmer
    November 2, 2007

    Over on Language Log, my other blogging home, we’d call that an example of the Bierce/Hartman/McKean/Skitt Law of Prescriptive Retaliation: “any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror.”

  6. #6 David Marjanovi?
    November 3, 2007

    Prescriptivist Retaliation!

  7. #7 JohnX
    November 5, 2007

    Carl, Ben, David:

    Take it easy.

    One of the forensic tools to detect plagiarism is to look for the repetition of an odd error. Somebody will be looking for “prescriptive retaliation” and “vengeans” in future masters and doctorate theses.

  8. #8 SG
    November 5, 2007

    I have a friend who works for a public policy non-profit, and whenever she gets a new computer (or a new version of MS Office) she immediately goes into the dictionary and deletes the word “pubic”…

  9. #9 David B. Benson
    November 5, 2007

    Everybody knows that Vengeans come from Vengea. Didn’t you study world geography?
    :-)