20 February 2015
ANOTHER REASON TO HATE SPELL-CHECK
One of my pet peeves has finally spilled over into an almost constant annoyance. In e-mails from local schools and materials used in those schools, to books I read on my Kindle, it is apparent that the past tense of the verb "to lead" (to guide someone or something towards someone or something) has been transformed from "led" into "lead."
Now, any educated person knows that "lead" (noun) is a bluish-white lustrous metal, very soft, highly malleable, ductile, and a relatively poor conductor of electricity. Its symbol is Pb, and its atomic number is 82. It is incapable of guiding anyone to anywhere (except Boot Hill when certain pellets of the metal are accelerated into a body at, e.g., 900fps, from, e.g., the classic Colt single-action Army revolver). But I digress.
I charge this abuse of the English language to an over-reliance on that abomination known as “spell-check.” Because “spell-check does only that (look for misspelled words), it will ignore homonyms like crazy.
So, please people, especially teachers, make sure you set a good example for the malleable minds you are teaching. Teach them to spell and to proof-read, rather than relying on a relatively stupid form of artificial intelligence.