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September 30, 2004

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if we did not have a spell checker on the computer? I, for one, would sure make a lot more mistakes than I already do. Then again, maybe if I did not have the computer program to correct my miscues, maybe I would be a better speller. I've been working on computers most of my life, so I never really have had to learn how to spell. All I had to do was spell the word pretty close to correct and then let the computer fix it. What if I lost this crutch? I'm afraid it would be pretty scary. Of course my best critics would have a hay day. But the rest of you, those who understand that we are human and make mistakes, well it might not really bother you that much. A friend sent me this e-mail to help me prove this point. Mspelling prblm: Aoccdring to rscheearch at Cmabrige Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny tihing is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. This is bcuseae the human mnid deos not raed ervery lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. I was amazed that I really had no problem reading that paragraph. I guess it reaffirmed my suspicion that people that call in or write letters to complain about our typos, just want to make a point. Well, I concede that I am no master speller and my grammar leaves much to be desired. But this study makes me rest a little easier. Now if I could just find a way to cure my name problems. Sports coverage is troubling for me as I have trouble letting older siblings move on and replace them with younger brothers or sisters. I've even had a few dads playing sports instead of their sons. While the old guys may enjoy the opportunity to relive their glory days, the kids probably get a little grief about my mistakes at school. I guess I'll have to develop a name checker.

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