Posted in 2017, Writing, Writing Tips

Amateur Writing Tip: Don’t always listen to spellcheck

Spellcheck has the tendency to lead you astray when you are writing anything on a word processor program such as Microsoft Word. It may tell you to put a comma where a comma doesn’t belong, remind you about how bad you are at spelling because it keeps giving you the wrong word no matter how many times you rewrite the word, and it always asks you to remove a word that is obviously there for effect.

Spell checkers and by extension grammar checkers work on an algorithm which uses grammar rules, and a dictionary which contains all the common words in the English language. The problem is that when you are writing a story you sometimes need to ignore grammar rules or spelling, or you have made up words or words from other languages which the spell checker cannot detect. It’s hard writing fantasy when you see red squiggly lines all over your work.

Some of these issues can be fixed however. If you have a word such as a name which keeps on being flagged with a red line you can add it to the dictionary by right clicking on the flagged word. You can change the grammar checker settings in Microsoft Word by going into the options menu under the file tab and going through the proofing options. Something even easier that you can do to fix the errors you make by listening to spell and grammar checkers is just to ignore all the lines. You can do this by right clicking the flagged parts and clicking ignore once.

2 thoughts on “Amateur Writing Tip: Don’t always listen to spellcheck

  1. Spell check is good for picking up the occasional typo but given how it struggles to identify so many words or the grammar check gets confused about which word you intended to use, it really is only good as another check and doesn’t really work as an edit. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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