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When I am Copyeditor General ...: Spellcheck will be reserved for those who can spell


Spellcheck will be reserved for those who can spell

I used a calculator for the first time when I was six years old. This was the mid-'70s; pocket calculators were only just becoming affordable. I thought it was the greatest thing ever, and quickly turned it upside down to spell HELLO. Once I realized it was largely useless as a writing tool (what? You're supposed to use it for numbers? Ewww!) I moved on.

But I was still aware of the criticism that calculators would make people intellectually lazy; children would never learn to add (a vital life-skill, apparently).

And then we all got computers, and now not only do we not need to do math, but we also don't need to get up from the couch to meet people or buy groceries.

We can even stand on virtual street corners like crazy old men and rant endlessly about, say, the state of the English language.

Of course, while I love the efficiencies computers bring, I'm now old enough, and have read enough, to understand those '70s concerns. And I point an accusatory finger at spellcheck.

Why? Taylor Mali explains. (Contains mildly offensive language; you have been warned!)

Copyeditor General's ruling: I couldn't have pat it butter myself. And thanks to the lovely Sarah, who sent me the video and so is anointed Deputy of the Week!

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