Don’t trust your spellchecker – it could cost you a fortune!

| April 20, 2010

It’s always risky to rely on spellcheckers because they don’t take context into account.  

There’s a great story in the news this week about an Aussie cook book in which one recipe asked readers to add freshly ground black people. Obviously it was an innocent mistake. They meant black pepper. But these are strange times, and political correctness is king.

As it happens the publisher had to destroy 7,000 copies, which cost a fair few dollars. If they’d been unlucky, and the mistake less obviously innocent, they could have faced legal action.

Once, long ago, I printed 60,000 direct mail leaflets with the signatory T. Bollock. It should have said T. Bullock. It went down like a fart at a Bar Mitzvah. Luckily I wasn’t sued either. But it just goes to show – you can’t be too careful.

Spellcheckers check spelling, but not context. The word ‘people’ isn’t a spelling mistake, nor is ‘bollock’. The moral of the tale – get someone who knows their stuff to proofread your copy or content before approving it for upload or print.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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