Spell Check Is My Ultimate Crutch

Raphael Mudge has published an interesting post that talks about re-thinking the relationship with the spell checker. His post made me reflect on just how dependent I’ve become on services such as After The Deadline or the built-in spell checker inside of FireFox. There used to be a time when I could easily spell big words when writing them down on paper or saying the letters out loud. Those days are long gone. When I write content and it comes to using a big word, I’ll make the first try a good guess hoping that I got close enough to the word that FireFox will suggest the one I was trying to use.

I imagine that not writing words down on paper with pen is one of the biggest reasons for my lack of ability to spell. Grammar to me is an after thought. I also wonder if I should put myself in a little experiment where I disable all spell checkers for one week to see how I do. If anyone else is willing to go through this same experiment, let me know in the comments. We can give it a try for a week and report our findings.

Can anyone else admit that spelling and grammar checkers have become a large crutch?

4 Comments


  1. They’re a massive crutch for me, but mainly due to typing. I know how to spell very well, but it doesn’t mean I type it correctly!

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  2. Not being a native English speaker I find spell and grammar checks to be an necessity.
    If I didn’t use those I would misspell a lot. I spell perfectly fine in my own native tongue but English not so much. Then there is the intermixing of UK English and US English. Most foreigners are taught UK English and then learn US from TV and forums and you end up with a mix of sidewalks and pavements, z and s. Its somewhat confusing at times.

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  3. You’ll have to let me know how the experiment goes. Part of being literate in the information age involves knowing how to use the tools the information age gives us (e.g., search). Spell check and other tools fall in the same category. Very valuable, but not without limitations. I think it’s ok to rely on these tools when one understands them. Blindly accepting what any tool says is dangerous. :)

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  4. I make a lot of mistakes when typing mainly because I type fast. The mistakes are often not because I can’t spell a certain word, but because I type in the error when pounding my keyboard :)

    Spell check comes in handy!

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