FALL 2015 ISSUE
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Melnick at Large
Aye Hope Yule No Better
By Arnold Melnick, DO, FACOP
Arnold Melnick, DO, FACOP
At your computer, you've finished the draft of your new article/report/letter and are very satisfied with it, but to be sure it's OK, you run it through the spell-checker. Fine, nothing seems amiss and you are ready to submit it.
Like so many thousands of us who use computers, you are consciously or unconsciously assuming that computers make no mistakes. But we are wrong, present-day computers with all their innovations and advances, do have inherent problems-- something we rarely consider. The more improved an invention becomes, the more there are dangers. A model-T Ford required only simple and easy care, but today's super-charged luxury car has so many more things to consider--more things to go wrong-- and complicated mechanisms beyond the scope of the average driver. And so it is with the computer and internet. That's not all bad; I'll take the modern luxury car and the up-to-date electronic inventions.
Forget for the moment such computer/internet stumbling blocks as incorrect citations or errors in the entering of original information that it not realized until after being put on line (and perhaps that has already been read by someone who assumed it as a basis of further exploration}. In this article, I am emphasizing the potholes in using spell-check, generally a helpful and good assistant. But it absolutely needs human scrutiny on every use.
In order to illustrate my spell-check point, let me quote from my column Melnick on Writing (American Medical Writers Association)
Here's a poem (source unknown) that was run through a spell-checker:
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased to no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew."
So, in the future, when you are worried about your spelling,
Aye hope that Yule no better.
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