Sometimes Spelling Checkers Can’t Help You

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The spelling checker is a helpful feature in word processors. Its equivalent on mobile phones is the auto-correct feature.

However, I’ve had first-hand experiences with situations where the spelling checker simply didn’t catch my typo errors.

It’s because those typo errors were not spelling errors.

The results can be interesting.

Here are several examples that hopefully will remind you not to put your full trust in the spelling checker or auto-correct features to ensure you deliver high quality contents.

Lick On The Brush Tool

The first case below was actually my very own typo that never made it to publication, thanks to proofreading.

It was late, I was very tired, and I was trying to finish a step-by-step introductory guide for a digital painting project.

Brush Tool

Imagine what could have happened if I had published the guide with the error in it.

I can think of a possible worst-case scenario. What if someone took things too literally?

Lick On The Brush

Or another worst-case scenario:

Lick On The Brush Tool On Screen

Folks, please don’t try that at home, or anywhere else!

Note: The examples below have been slightly altered to protect the identities of their sources.

Best Retards

In the next case, the typo error is actually very rare according to my experience.

Did you realize that ALL of the letters in the phrases “best regards” and “best retards” are located on the left-hand side of the keyboard?

Most people would type them with just their left hand. Interesting!

My best speed for typing ‘best regards’ is approximately 2 seconds. How fast can YOU type it?

Best Regards

Yes, my friends, “retards” exists as a word (and hence the usage of the singular verb “exists”), so your spelling checker will not flag it as an error.

In addition, some people claim that “retards” also exist in the workplace (and hence the usage of the plural verb “exist”).

So on both counts, your spelling checker will not flag any errors.

Maximun Height

And finally, how about in situations where spelling checkers won’t even run? I took the following picture of a car park entrance several years ago (so no, I could be wrong, but those red lights are not the eyes of a monster):

Maximum Height

That one’s a real spelling error, but since it’s not digital, auto-correct won’t help you.

And I guess some errors are just not worth fixing, huh?

Actually, there’s also a slim chance that someone thought that the spelling IS correct.

You know, something like, “the opposite of minimun is maximun!”

So what’s the important lesson here? Proofread your documents!

What are your personal experiences with spelling checker or auto-correct fails?


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