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Why Spelling and Grammar Checks Aren't Completely Able to Be Automated

Microsoft Word and other similar "word processing programs" have automated spelling and grammar checks that I would say are a good start in the editing process. There's nothing enjoyable about receiving a document that hasn't had an automated check run yet, and having to click through all of the basic typos (missing or transposed letters) and common spelling errors that can be caught by a machine. It's part of the writing process - whether you use the tools available or try to go completely manually, which takes more read throughs.

The problem with hitting "accept all" to these suggestions is, sometimes the computer doesn't know that the name Jaxson isn't misspelled. Or it really was supposed to say "had had" or "She said it ain't," and it wasn't a stutter or mistake. There's also an opposite problem that people rarely think about - sometimes such a program will not mark a word wrong, because it isn't spelled wrong, but it is used wrong. For example, "The conjugation was amazed," when it was supposed to say, "The congregation was amazed."

It happens more often than you think. Perhaps you were tired, started typing, and the program auto-corrected without you noticing. Or perhaps you were interrupted and started typing what you heard someone say instead of what you had been thinking about. No one writes a perfect 100 pages, and often, no one writes a perfect entire page the first time.

We're often told in school to focus on getting your thoughts out on paper first, and to edit later. Take the time to use the tools available, but don't assume that a computer knows all of the intricacies of the English language - do your own read throughs and recruit others!

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