How many times have you typed a word like “melons” but really meant “lemons”? To the spell checker, both are words. So what’s wrong?
The problem is that spell check does not read as humans do. Depending on what the sentence is about, the incorrect word could make it confusing. For example, how many people heard of turning melons into lemonade? Anybody? Bueller?
Having someone to proofread is generally a good idea, but even humans miss stuff. So what’s a writer to do?
Spellcheck has the tendency to lead you astray when you are writing anything on a word processor program such as Microsoft Word. It may tell you to put a comma where a comma doesn’t belong, remind you about how bad you are at spelling because it keeps giving you the wrong word no matter how many times you rewrite the word, and it always asks you to remove a word that is obviously there for effect.
Spell checkers and by extension grammar checkers work on an algorithm which uses grammar rules, and a dictionary which contains all the common words in the English language. The problem is that when you are writing a story you sometimes need to ignore grammar rules or spelling, or you have made up words or words from other languages which the spell checker cannot detect. It’s hard writing fantasy when you see red squiggly lines all over…
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