Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown

I have a big secret for you, one that might blow your mind. You might want to sit down for this.

There’s a big difference between proofreading and spellchecking.

This is totally crazy! My students don’t believe me- they think looking for those dotted red lines really is proofreading. So much so that the following sentences were turned in on papers this semester.

Martian Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent philosophy was more effective than that of Malcolm X.

The girl’s sh*t is red, the color of passion and love.

The first is from a paper I graded today. I laughed, imagining MLK Jr. as a little green man. The second mortified the student- she was quite adamant that the misspelling had been a total mistake.

Spellcheck isn’t perfect, but it’s great for discovering that you chronically spell hemorrhage or marriage wrong (yeah, that’s me). In fact, I’m quite thankful for spellcheck because I made a pretty idiotic move two nights ago. You see, I thought I was a genius because I used word replace to change a character’s nickname from “Red” to “Det.” Initially I thought Red was a genius nickname for Reddedet, but the “Red said’s” started to drive me nuts. So then I started to go back through some pages and saw a gazillion dotted red lines.


I forgot Word changed even the “red” inside another word- scared, marred, barred, etc. Now they read scaDet, marDet, and barDet. So now I have 40,000 words to go back through.

Yay for me. *hits self in head*

I guess the moral of the story is, spellcheck can be your friend and also your enemy.

Or your frenemy.

Photo from Daily Demotivators.