Thursday, February 17, 2011

In which spellcheck (almost) redeems itself

I'm a believer in first going after the low-hanging fruit, so when I started a recent document editing project, I didn't hesitate to make a first pass using Word's Spelling & Grammar function.

My directive was simply to proof the document and make minor edits to copy based on changes provided by the client, so I clicked "ignore" on the plentiful suggestions to address usage of passive voice. I accepted changes to spelling errors and spacing issues, and studied the context for any identified sentence fragments or other infractions before choosing to ignore most (the majority were items in bulleted lists).

But I nearly chortled in joy when Word suggested that I reconsider the use of the word "impact" as a verb--this is one of my top three copywriting pet peeves, but I've never seen it flagged by Word as an error.

And I really DID chortle when, a few pages later, it suggested that I replace the phrase "step-by-step" with the word "systematic."

And then Word reminded me why I get paid the big bucks: it completely missed that "acronym" was misspelled "acroynm."

Three cheers for another victory of (wo)man over machine!