Friday, 10 March 2006

Spellcheck and (non) co-operation

I am pleased to see that a comment I made on a rather more serious blog than this one (Language Hat) has been taken up by another (Language Log)!
I used to collect interesting mistakes in EU texts, whether caused by spellcheck (e.g. Cupertino for co-operation) or Freudian slips, e.g. "the UK givernment will provide aid...", "this Regulation shall be blinding in its entirety..." (when the text happened to be about the classification of sunglasses); but I threw most of these out in a clutter-clearing phase some time ago and now have to rely on memory.
However, it is difficult to forget my dear friend V. reporting on the Albanians' interest in concluding a "customs copulation agreement"! The poor thing had to put up with a lot of teasing about "international affairs" after that ...
I once received a document referring to trade in "fresh, dried and frozen crap" (instead of carp) and was sorely tempted to refrain from correcting a list of public holidays for customs transit offices, in which a Danish secretary had managed to type an S instead of a W in "Whit Monday".
Spellcheck is of course of limited use because if the word you mis-spell is the correct spelling for another word, it doesn't pick it up. Hence the verse:
"I have a spelling chequer, it came with my pea sea
It plane lee marques four my revue, miss steaks eye can knot sea
Eye ran this poem threw it, I'm shore yaw pleased two no
Its letter perfect in its weigh, my chequer tolled me sew...."


At 11/3/06 16:21, Blogger Dakota said...

Funny little verse and very interesting post :) Now I have that funny feeling that I shouldn’t rely on my spellchecker as much as I do.

At 11/3/06 20:17, Blogger Sabine said...

Brilliant, that little poem! I always try to read my pieces for mistakes after the spellcheck told me everything's fine. Just the same, silly words slip through sometimes.

And even headlines of respectable newspapers aren't immune! Which goes to show that the human element here is still as important as ever!

At 19/3/06 16:13, Blogger bibliobibuli said...

so funny! stop making me laugh or i'll have to quit being depressed


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