Show, Don’t Tell
I could tell you that spell check is a lousy editor because of its significant limitations. Maybe you’d believe me. Maybe you’d ignore me because that first sentence was boring. Maybe you’d roll your eyes and say, “Lady, you write for a proofreading company; of course you want to rag on spell check.”
The better thing for me to do is to tell you a teeny tiny story.
One of our most seasoned proofreaders, a woman we’ll call Lisa (because her name is Lisa), was reviewing a document last week. We always run spell check first (it’s sort of like throwing down the gauntlet and then beating the heck out of our inferior opponent). Spell check flagged “prepregnancy” and suggested a helpful alternative. “Consider: ‘prepreg Nancy’.”
First, I’ve laughed heartily over this no less than twelve times. Every time I read it, I start up again. When Lisa told me, I resisted the impulse to roll around on the floor like a horse and neigh-laugh. Second, are you kidding me? A human proofreader could be working on two hours of sleep and the maximum dose of Benadryl and do better than that.
And now that I’ve tickled your funny bone (aka your humerus), I’ll get to the real point, which I’ve also just illustrated.