Spell Check Checks What You Wrote...Not What You Meant to Write

Spell check is an extremely valuable tool.  As a matter of fact, I recommend you go and change the settings in each of the email clients you use to auto-spell check everything you send out so that you can't forget.  At the same time, I beg of you, please, please, please, please, please, do not use spell check as a crutch.  Although the technological advances in spelling and grammar checkers have been many and frankly, amazing, they are not advanced enough to read your mind, yet. They cannot distinguish what you typed from what you meant to type.  Take for instance, the excerpt from the memo below apologizing for a delayed order.  According to Microsoft Word's spelling and grammar checker, it is 100% correct. 

Can you imagine if that message actually made it to the customer?  In case you can't make heads or tails of it, here is what the message should have said: 

"Our apologies for the delay of your recent order.  Two items have been placed on back order.  We appreciate your patience, and would like to offer you 15% off of your next order as a thank you for your continued patronage.  Please, tell Sally that we received her call.  She was very kind on the phone when she introduced herself as your new employee.  We will contact you with a ship date for your other items.  Good luck with your new receptionist!"

As you can see, running a spell checker on your work should only be a fraction of your review process.  At the very least, reread what you've written before hitting send.  Otherwise, you may be sending the wrong message.

Spelling Bee Important


  1. This is a very entertaining example of how one simple email can devastate a person's day. Wow. I have to admit that I am a grammar nitpicker, and it's difficult for me to use slang even in a text message! Therefore, I thank you, April, for reiterating the need to triple-check your work before sending an email.

  2. I agree Anya. Now that text messages aren't charged by the word, I have a hard time forgiving bad grammar via text. I wonder if people just got used to abbreviated text messaging back when cell coverage providers charged per word that they can't break the habit, or if it has just become a social norm.

  3. Hahahaha! Good fuck with your new receptionist...That might have turned a few faces pink!