Editing/RevisionMusingsPersonalWritersWriting

A Pet Peeve

Can I share a gripe with you?

This is something that annoys the hell out of me both as a writer and as a teacher.  Word processing programs (and in most people’s case that means Microsoft Word) should not check for grammar.  It should not check for “contextual spelling”.  Those two features imply that it can read, think, and use logic.  It can’t.

As a writer this annoys me because Word routinely suggests ludicrous things.  For example, I just had my hero cup the back of the heroine’s neck.  Word thinks he should have cut her.  After months of using Word 2007, I have finally figured out where to go to turn off all the grammar check functions and the “contextual spelling” (that would be the bugger that suggested Wyatt cut Marin’s neck instead of cup it).

As a teacher these features annoy me because it makes people lazy.  It’s bad enough that people don’t seem to learn proper grammar and punctuation and spelling anymore, but then they rely on a computer to do it for them?  It’s just reinforcing laziness and ignorance.  They assume the computer is right, they don’t proof-read anything and then they fail a class or look like an idiot at work.

I will save you a lengthy rant on the sad state of education in our country.  I just had to spout off.

Now does anybody know how to change the default so that Word 2007 doesn’t keep inserting weird spaces between paragraphs?

One thought on “A Pet Peeve

  1. I’ve never updated to 2007, but the weird spacing between paragraphs is probably coming from the default stylesheet. You’ll need to learn how to format paragraphs and then save your revised format to the default stylesheet.

    Hope that works!

    –Jim Aikin

    P.S.: I totally agree about grammar-checking. Spell-checking is marginally useful because it catches typos, but it’s annoying to have to constantly add words to the dictionary.

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