Thursday, February 3, 2011

OpenOffice Spell Check Fail + Inventive Spelling Fail - Rant

After installing the newest version of OpenOffice, my default language (English USA) was deselected for some reason. After typing up a brief summary for a meeting and hitting the spell check button I was surprised to find that I had 0 errors! Wow, I thought, I'm really improving...

I think this was a Fail by OpenOffice on two fronts:
  1. The new version should have adopted the same language as the previous version and
  2. if no language is selected, spell check should report that in a message, not just proclaim no errors were found.

Luckily, I passed the paper off to a coworker for review before the meeting because while I am improving my spelling, I was lured into a false sense of confidence by the spellchecker and missed some obviously incorrect words, which brings me to the second part of my rant.

Inventive Spelling had to be one of the worst ideas ever. The theory was that it is emotionally hurtful to be wrong. So instead of "punishing" kids for spelling words wrong in elementary school, they'd just let us "invent" a spelling of our choice. This would allow us to be more creative writers who weren't shackled by our limited spelling ability. It reality, it just produced a bunch of emotionally handicapped horrible spellers conditioned to be too lazy to look in a dictionary (there was no negative consequence anyways).

Oh well, hopefully writing this blog, among other things, will allow me to reach the point where I may one day become a human spell checker!

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