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8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Just Rely On SpellCheck

8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Just Rely On SpellCheck

“She could sew seeds better than she could sew clothes.”

The above sentence is one that I came across while reading a self-published novel the other day, and is a perfect example why one cannot merely rely on a spell-checking program to ensure that one’s writing is error-free. Although “sew” and “sow” are homophones (they sound the same despite having different spellings and meanings), they are obviously not interchangeable: we sow seeds, and sew clothes.

SpellCheck, or any inbuilt spell-checking program, wouldn’t catch that, and anyone proofreading or editing your work would be patently unimpressed to come across it. Although a spell checker is a handy tool for general use, it will never fully take the place of educating yourself properly and polishing your writing skills. Here are 8 solid reasons why you shouldn’t just rely on a program to help you out in daily communications and professional writing:

1. It Won’t Catch Homophonic Errors

As in the example at the top of this page, there are many words that sound the same as others, and if you use them in lieu of the correct words (and spell them correctly), SpellCheck won’t catch them. According to the program, ewe kin rite awl kinds a things and they’ll still go threw. Case in point: SpellCheck didn’t highlight anything in that sentence as incorrect.

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When I have been responsible for sifting through cover letters and resumes for potential job candidates, I discarded any that had blatant spelling errors. If someone can’t discern between “weather” and “whether,” or “could of” and “could have,” I’d worry about their competence in any professional role.

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    2. SpellCheck Won’t Catch Typos That Are Actual Words

    When you write phrases such as, “In miss you,” “I’ll pick the care up from the garage,” or, “We’re having meet for dinner,” SpellCheck doesn’t catch any errors, because none of the words are actually misspelled. The same thing goes for Word and other word-processing software: phrases and words that are spelled properly aren’t picked out as wrong, so you can write something utterly nonsensical merely by adding or subtracting a letter or so, and it’ll still go through as perfectly okay. Ask me how much trouble I once got into by accidentally referring to a Rabbi as a “rabbit” in a work email.

    Additionally, misplaced gaps in sentences will be allowed through: have you ever sent an IM or text only to realize that you’ve hit the space bar too soon (or too late)? Instead of writing, “She meant Rick,” if referring to a friend’s comment about another, you may end up writing, “She mean trick.” That’s quite a different expression, if rather inarticulate.

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    3. You Won’t Learn From Your Mistakes

    As mentioned above, words that are spelled correctly won’t be picked out, and you’ll end up making the same errors over and over again. You might use “adverse” instead of “averse” when implying that someone isn’t fond of an idea, or say that a person was “effected” by a policy, rather than “affected.” If the people you work with don’t know the difference between these words either (or are too hesitant or polite to point out that you spelled something wrong), you’ll continue to use them improperly.

    This could backfire really badly if and when you apply for a position with people who require higher standards of writing proficiency than you’ve been accustomed to.

    4. Hideous Sentences Will Be Allowed Through

    Redundancies, misplaced modifiers, errant quotation marks, and multiple hyphens in lieu of proper dashes won’t be pointed out as wrong, so that article you might be submitting to an editor will leave them gawking in horror at the fact that you’re allowed anywhere near a computer at all. An example:

    “The young was girl was walking the dog in in a short skirt.”

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    Guess what SpellCheck didn’t pick out as wrong?

    5. It Makes You Lazy

    If you’re not constantly aware of the words you’re typing in order to ensure that they’re spelled correctly, you can get sloppy. Sure, anything you type formally should still be amended by the program, but what if you actually have to use a pen and paper to leave a note for someone?

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      6. You Won’t Always Have Access To It

      If you rely heavily on a spell checker to catch your errors, you won’t ameliorate your own writing skills and may end up making rather egregious errors when using a program that doesn’t have one installed. Certain IM programs don’t check your spelling as you type, and many phones don’t have spell-checking software checking your texts before you hit “send.”

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      If you have to send a text to a client or your boss, or you’re in a Skype chat with someone whose opinion of you actually matters, and your spelling skills are on par with your eight-year-old nephew’s, you’re in for it.

      7. It Can Be Wrong

      SpellCheck isn’t necessarily up to date on neologisms, slang terms, or marketing jargon, and can mark certain expressions or words as incorrect when they’re actually just fine as they are.

      8. It Won’t Discern What You Meant To Write From What You Actually Wrote

      Most of us think more quickly than we type, which leads to words being omitted or sentences being mangled. SpellCheck won’t clue in to the fact that you left out several vital words in a paragraph: if they’re not misspelled, it doesn’t care. It’s actually best to take a break from a piece after you’ve written it and then go back to it with fresh eyes, as you’ll put enough distance between yourself and your work to be able to find mistakes and omissions.

      We’ll often choose the wrong word in conversation or writing because it sounds similar to the one we meant, but if you sign off an email “with love and infection,” the recipient might be a bit unnerved. You don’t want that.

      Whether you’re writing an essay, an article, a blog post, or your PhD thesis, it’s important to go through your work thoroughly to ensure that it’s error-free: relying on a program that will only catch typos is sure to land you in trouble. If you do proofread your work, determine that there’s nothing wrong with it, and then find out that there were several errors within it, you might want to read books a bit more often in order to re-familiarize yourself with formal written English.

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      Catherine Winter

      Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on July 23, 2019

      3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

      3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

      Do you want to program your mind and hack your body to stay in a positive state, a state of action taking throughout the day? I suggest you read on.

      We will look at 3 keys to success that successful people are doing that you can model to program your mind to be in the state of succeeding from the moment upon waking, and make decisions throughout the day that will lead you towards your desires.

      The Biggest Obstacle to Success: Going on Autopilot

      One of the biggest pitfalls in the modern society is to fall into the trap of going on autopilot, to be walking dead and do what everyone else are doing. Most of us are too busy reacting and responding to the environment and what’s happening around us.

      While we should act and take charge of our own world and our own reality. We forget to stay focused and we forget about our goals.

      Learn to be conscious. Being more conscious in your day-to-day decisions will lead you to take the appropriate actions to reach your goals.

      Have a purpose with life, act according to your values, and don’t let people tell you what to do or how things should be.

      When you start to make more conscious decisions, you will start to think about if this is going to take you closer to your goals or drift you further away.

      Why are you doing what you’re doing right now? Why are you reading this? Nothing else to do? Or are you reading this site so you might pick up a thing or two to consciously incorporate in your life to improve yourself that will move you in the direction you want?

      What are your goals? Be healthy? Lose weight? Be fit? Get the dream job? Have the dream house? Live the dream life? Make a certain amount of money? Start a family?

      If you truly want to pursue these goals and actually see them come true, you need to start taking actions consciously.

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      3 Keys to Success in Life (That You Can Start Doing Now)

      There are 3 things we have to consciously start doing:

        Now I’ll show you how you can achieve each of them in details.

        1. Write down Your Goals

        The first thing you do in the morning will determine what your day is going to be like. Program your mind to be in a powerful state from the moment upon waking, and you are guaranteed to have a productive and great day.

        How you can do this is by writing your goals down, every morning. Then, once you’ve done that, circle the most important goal,  the goal that in the long-term will have the most impact on your life.

        Now ask yourself this question: “What actions can I make today that will change everything and take me closer to this goal?

        Write down all the actions you can think of, circle the two most important ones and start doing them. Don’t stop until it’s done.

        This is an extremely powerful method of getting in the right state first thing in the morning. Instead of wandering around half-dead and spending 30 minutes to wake up, you are hacking your mind to be productive.

        Another powerful reason for writing down your goals is that by reading them it makes us feel good, write them as if they’re already accomplished. You’re already there.

        Re-reading and re-writing them every morning will ensure you to be in a resourceful state where you act based on your goals. You will make conscious decisions throughout the day that will support your goals and take you closer to them.

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        Goals that are not written down are merely wishes. Learn how to set great goals here: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

        The power of writing goals as if you’re already there takes us to point number 2.

        2. Create a Powerful Belief System

        Ask any successful person what their number one rule for succeeding is. They all have this in common:

        They believe in themselves and what they’re doing, and they are not afraid to say it.

        If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?

        When people ask you about your goals in life, don’t be afraid to say it out loud. If you have high goals, they might laugh and look at you funny. But if you’re insecure about your goals, you will make insecure decisions that will lead you nowhere.

        Go against the grain, stand out. After all, how many people in the world today are actually living the dream? Now, how many of these people will respond something in the likes of “I don’t know” if you ask what their goals are?

        Be determined and believe in yourself. People will respect you for having the guts for going after what you truly desire.

        I once heard a story about a guy that worked in a video store. Every day he would bring two magazines to work, one was an entrepreneur magazine and the other was a magazine loaded with expensive and fast-riding cars. His boss would ask him why he was bringing these magazines to work every day and his answer was: “I’m picking out the car I’m going to buy.”

        The response from the boss was like most average minds saying he was killing himself thinking like that, he would never ever get that car and would just end up disappointed when it never happened.

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        Turned out, the guy later quit the job at the video store and followed his dream. Some years later he return to the video store to return a video, and he did so in the car he picked out from the magazine.

        The same people were working in the store as the day he used to work there. Now can you imagine the looks on their faces when he turned up in the car they said he never ever would get?

        Priceless. And it all started by creating a powerful belief system.

        The first step to living and achieving your dream is to believe it and imagine it. When you believe in your mind that you’ve already achieved your goals, you will develop a sense of certainty. That certainty will lead to action steps, when you know what the outcome is going to be it’s much easier to pick out the actions that are necessary to get there.

        You are certain you will live in the body you want.

        You are certain you will live in the dream house with the dream family.

        You are certain you will have the job you want, and earn the money you believe you’re worth.

        By constantly repeating in your mind the images of yourself succeeding, you create neural pathways in the brain. Your mind can’t tell the difference between what you vividly imagine and the reality.

        Go out and day dream. Go out and believe, imagine already living your dreams and goals. With enough repetition, you become certain that this is the only outcome and you work backwards to find ways for making it happen.

        The next step in personal success that will lead to life success and happiness is to..

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        3. Invest in Yourself

        A wise man was once asked what the best possible investment someone could make. His answer was short, sweet and simple: “Invest In Yourself.”

        The man’s name is Warren Buffett. He is known as the world’s greatest investor. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $53.5 Billion.

        Hiring a personal coach, getting a membership at a gym, buying healthy foods, books and education are not expenses. They are investments: investments in yourself.

        Some things you can do today to invest in yourself are:

        • Go to the gym and train. Physical training releases endorphins and makes you feel great. It increases productivity and energy levels. By investing time in the gym, you’ll be better able to handle daily tasks and what life throws at you. Forty-five to fifty minutes is all you need, it’s actually the best time to shoot for in a workout.
        • Eat good food. When you go to the grocery store after work, ask yourself: “What foods will nourish my mind and body to feel and perform better?” You are setting yourself up for greatness and consciously making yourself aware of what foods will empower you, therefore make better decisions.
        • Start reading books. Everyone buys books, but very few actually reads them cover to cover.
        • Stop reading books and start studying them. Few read the books they buy, but even fewer remembers what they read. Stop reading books and start studying books.
        • Study at least one hour a day. “One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.” – Brian Tracy
        • Take notes. Never leave home without a pen and a piece of paper. The best ideas often comes in the least appropriate times, write them down. Don’t trust your mind to remember them—it won’t. Writing it down right away will also allow your mind to store and come up with more ideas. Nowadays, you can use plenty of notes-taking apps like Evernote.
        • Learn a new skill. Learn something new every day, a new skill or a new word. One new skill every day equals 365 new skills a year. Now imagine where you could be a year from now if you start doing it today?
        • Do something for yourself. Yes, hard work is a major factor for succeeding, but at least once per month do something fun, something outrageous and spontaneous that makes you feel alive. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

        The Crucial Rule to Follow

        The last piece of advice and rule to follow: Keep on, keeping on.

        Sometimes, things get hard and the road seems too long. You just have to keep on, keeping on.

        Revisit your goals and start imagining, all of the sudden you’ve changed your state and you’re on the right track again. The track that will take you to greatness.

        Use these 3 keys to create your destiny and achieve what you want in life.

        Go get it.

        More About Achieving Success

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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