In “proofreading” my last post, the ever
loyal treacherous (please see the comment section) spellchecker pointed the following out to me:
- Spinned is not a word.
- Agreed, but “spun” won’t do in this context, would it? How would you describe what a spin doctor does, in the past tense?
- WordPress is a typo. Only WordPress will do.
- Fair enough. WordPress should have higher standards than I, who happily settle for “teasandbooks”, “Teas and books”, “Teas and Books”, “TEAS and BOOKS”, or just “hey, you”.)
- Form is suspect. Did I mean “from”?
- No, I certainly did not. Why would you try to correct one properly spelled word for another, Spellchecker? Is it because people complained when you didn’t? Did people expect you to read their minds and replace “by” with “my”, “then” with “than”, “lain” with “lied”? Did people insult your intelligence in their complaints? Have you learned to read minds, or at least context, in the meantime, Spelly? I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t, but until you do, please leave my “incipient form” as it is. (Do you mind my calling you Spelly? Or is it Herr Doctor Professor Spellchecker for me?)
I must admit that the (anthropomorphic) Spellchecker’s audacity left me spellbound. So much so that I was piqued to read its manual, at http://en.support.wordpress.com/proofreading/. Turn out that Spellchecker is even more dashing than I thought! It means to correct all of the following, and more, if I will only give it a chance!
- Bias language may offend or alienate different groups of readers.
- Clichés are overused phrases with little reader impact.
- Complex phrases are words or phrases with simpler every-day alternatives.
- Jargon phrases are foreign words and phrases that only make sense to certain people.
- Passive voice obscures or omits the sentence subject. Frequent use of passive voice makes your writing hard to understand.
- Phrases to avoid are wishy-washy or indecisive phrases.
Should I be afraid? Very, very afraid?