Spell Check Stories

So, last week I sent out a memo to about twenty people in my office, telling them that it was going to be a busy spring, but there were a couple of projects I wanted to keep on the front burner, and not let slip down the rabbit hole.

I ran it through spell check, made changes where appropriate, and hit “send”.

About two hours later, I got an email from the head of HR, asking what on earth was a “Rabbi Hole” and should she be concerned?

I couldn’t figure out what the hell she was talking about, then I reread the memo. Forgot the final “t”. Woof.

Note to self, Spell Check has made you lazy. Don’t let that little nugget fall down the Rabbi Hole.

In technical writing, I’ll often tell someone to press the whatever key on the keyboard to get whatever done. I once realized how important the “f” was in “Shift.”

At least it was a draft and not the final version!

I’ve wanted to start this thread so many times! I just can’t remember the funnier things.

But a number of times I’ll type something like “Mr. Smith”, and it will suggest that I change “Mr” to “Mr.” I guess it wanted me to talk about Mr… Smith.

Back in the heyday of Usenet, some rec.autos.makers.vw.aircooled found out the hard way that Microsoft spell checkers from around the turn of the century would fail to recognize “transaxle” as a correct spelling and would recommend “transsexual” instead.

So you’d ask the newsgroup about your rebuilt transaxle and the reply would be, “aren’t transsexuals rebuilt by definition?”

Back in the day, when I was doing support for Microsoft, we got a complaint about the spellchecker. Apparently if you spellcheck Weinberg, it comes back as Windbag. This was irrefutable proof that Bill Gates is antisemetic.

But don’t take my word for it. You know that New York City is the home to a lot of Jewish poeple, right? Type “NYC” into Word, then change the font to Wingdings. Yes, we actually got a complaint about that.

About a decade or so ago I was working briefly for a container (shipping) company, mostly just to help out a friend with clerical-type duties while he was short-staffed. One of the things he had me do was type up correspondence.

I am not a secretary by any stretch of the imagination, and it was obvious that I was too reliant upon spell-check when a batch of letters were addressed to the <Town Name> Porn Authority…which you have to admit sounds a lot more interesting than the Port Authority. :wink:

When writing code, don’t ever leave the L out of a public function. Don’t put an extra M into codon. And don’t hand it in before carefully reading everything first.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development does not, to my certain knowledge, have a department that deals with Pubic Housing. (I wasn’t the one who nearly sent that document out, but it was a famous cautionary tale at my company).

On the other hand, I used to work with one fellow whose last name might be more correctly (per Billgatus of Borg) be spelled Swindler, and another one who was kaput. Spell check + names = hilarity, often!

Spell check says I work in the same office with “Mr. Pants”. We’re having a lot of fun with it.

I’m actually quite fond of removing items from the dictionary that I’m not going to use. Profanities would be a good thing to remove. And Pubic, condom for sure. I don’t know about taking Rabbi out, though.

I was typing a paper or something and meant to use the word “like” as a noun. I ended up hitting the “k” instead so that I typed “kike” in a way that made sense within the context of the sentence. Thank Og I asked a friend to edit the paper, because that would have been very embarrassing. And, no, the spell checker is OK with “kike”. Further proof that Microsoft is anti-Semitic.

A nonprofit I volunteer at sent out a newsletter that described how they donate computers to “undeserved” populations instead of “underserved”.

My daughter turned in a high school paper describing a character in the play “Feces” instead of “Fences”.

My mum’s name spellchecks as “Trivia Scoot”.

She thinks this is hilarious and has been using it as a nickname for the last fifteen years.

My husband says that “manger” should be removed from most software dictionaries. How many times does the average office person type manager? Outside of people who work in churches, who needs the word manger? It should be flagged.

I’ve been writing some essays for class, and one has a citation for a chapter from a collective book, so it’s something like

Stokes, M. “A study on the effect of butterflies on the mood of children aged 3 years old”, in Brown, J., Ed. “Mood Studies: Current Developments”…

Bleeping spellchecker keeps trying to change the Ed. to de :confused: You aren’t even in Spanish, you stupid thing! What is that “de” supposed to mean?

Waaay back in the 80s, I and a lab partner were using the first computer lab on campus to type up a list of chemical hazards for a chem department poster. We had our giant list of all the obscure chemicals in inventory, piles of reference books to look stuff up in (no Internet, gasp), and we struggled against one of the earliest versions of Word Perfect (I think; it was blue, anyway).

Once our mighty labors were finished, we thought we’d try the “spell checker” function. Seemed like a good idea. In fact, we accepted its first suggested correction.

Damn thing then went ahead and replaced everything it thought was hinky with its suggested corrections.

We spent an hour editing back out helpful phrases such as “Caution: potassium pirates are shock-sensitive and may explode upon contact.”


That became our little joke about stupid, stupid mistakes. “Damn pirates.”

Where I come from “kike” is perjorative for transvestite

Sigh For the last time, the “hole in the bedsheet” story is a myth…

The “thumbs up” sign is what always makes me think this is hilarious. Such an enthusiatic yet random endorsement! It’s hiding in plain sight, people!

Oh yeah, the search & replace. We used it once without thinking, to replace “key” with “lock” everywhere due to a change in terminology. We didn’t think to add spaces to our query, so then we had to go through and look for all occurrences of things like “lockboard” or “lockpad” and change them back. That was obnoxious.

Though the look on my coworker’s face was pretty priceless when I asked her what the hell a lockboard was.