Sunday, July 15, 2007


Taking Two types of Tech-NO-logy to Task

If there is one piece of technology I turn my nose up at it’s the electronic translators that students sometimes pull out. I try to contain myself but I always end up trying to make them feel like it’s a waste of money and that they ought to trade it in for an old fashioned hard copy dictionary.

I’ve seen to many instances where those electronic wonders left students questioning whether I’ve in fact been speaking English for over four decades. This is not to say that by virtue of being a native speaker I know the meaning of every word in the English language. I have had to pull out the old fashioned dictionary and point out the true definition of a word on more than one occasion just to convince a student that their sleeker version was actually at fault.

My second pet peeve is Bill Gates’ spellchecker. It’s obvious that some students neglect to use it when they ought to. At the same time, it’s unfortunate that we cannot exactly tell them to rely on it 100%. Have you ever rushed to type a text and later been embarrassed by something that the spellchecker didn’t pick up. Well, let’s not blame Bill Gates. Let’s just say that the English language can be confusing, even to a computer (or a computer programmer). What do you feel like after reading the text below?

They're know miss steaks in this newsletter cause we
used special soft wear witch cheques you're spelling.
It is mower or lass a weigh to verify. How ever it
can knot correct arrows in punctuation ore usage: an
it will not fined words witch are miss used butt spelled
rite. Four example; a paragraph cud half mini flaws
but wood bee past by the spill checker. And it wont
catch the sent tense fragment which you. Their fore, the
massage is that proofreading is knot eliminated, it is
still berry much reek wired.

Now, don’t you feel sorry for the poor old spellchecker?

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