Use Spell-Check, Save Lives

I cannot produce any evidence just now of readers dying upon encounters with typos, but I’m quite certain that the cumulative effect of encountering them at OT posts has taken years off my life… or days anyway. Well, the point is, it looks bad, and it’s easy for a writer to prevent it, or a lot of it – yet, tragically, even experienced WordPressers may labor on without any awareness of the cool tools available, even when said cool tools, or their virtual handles, have been staring said WordPressers right in the face, post after post, for years.

post with misspellings

notice anything?

See all them squiggly red lines? They’re there because WordPress – or its hovering virtual proofreader – thinks that some of those words were misspelled. The squigulation happen fast, most of the time, though there will be some hesitation when re-loading the editor, before you’ve clicked in the editing area and thus “activated” it. So, it should be easy, if you’re paying attention, to catch many errors more or less as you type, but, as you get into the flow of things, you may tune the squiggles out. I know I do. (Apparently, many and perhaps most of you have been tuning them out forever.) So, recommended (or should it be required?) next step is, at some point prior to submitting the piece, to click that little ABC-with-a-check-mark-icon. post with misspellings and spellcheckAs you will see, unless you are colorblind or somehow reading this post on a ca. 1984 monochrome monitor, except then you wouldn’t likely have the button at all…, or something… anyway: The built-in WP spell-checker turns those somewhat subtle squiggles into alarmingly heavy red underlining. Have no fear: If you want the dark red alarmingly heavy underlines and associated pop-up drop-down menu action to go away, just re-click the ABC button, but, before you do that, hearken to its text-decorations of wisdom! You can click on any alarmingly heavily underlined word, and bring up a list of recommended alternatives. You can also provide your own alternatives at any time (just by clicking on the regular post text and doing what comes naturally). As with most spell-checkers, it will take additions to its dictionary (if you pick “Ignore always”), and will not – as far as I know – get upset if you do not take its suggestions. Neither will anyone else most likely, I reckon – say if you, unlike the editor, think that “squigulation” is keen, and what’s yer problem? The tool will not catch everything, of course, but just making a habit of using it, and at least of scanning your copy for squiggles, and acting on them, will make your posts come out better, and extend the lives of OT editors, who are for the most part nice people, and just want you to look your best.

Commenter Ignore Button by CK's Plug-Ins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *