Off topic: Are We Getting too Much Help from Word?
Thread poster: Geneviève von Levetzow

Geneviève von Levetzow  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:45
Member (2002)
French to German
+ ...
Mar 17, 2003

Is it possible to get too much help? According to a recent University of Pittsburgh study, the answer is yes. People who regularly use Microsoft Word\'s spelling and grammar checker seem to have worse writing skills than those who don’t. They even, apparently, have lower SAT scores. Obviously, that’s not what Microsoft and other word processing application vendors like Corel, maker of WordPerfect, had in mind when they introduced these tools. Has this been your experience? Does the quality of your writing suffer when you use these tools? Do you get lazy, or do these grammar and spelling checkers teach you things you didn’t know before? Tell us all about it in our spell-check-free forum.


PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:45
English to Polish
+ ...
Well, Mar 17, 2003

I always took pride in my spelling ability and I don\'t think it got worse by using MS Word. Most of the corrections it makes (for me) are typos.

What did suffer in the long time I\'ve been using a computer is the quality of my handwriting. It was never very pretty, but now it\'s noticeably worse.

What\'s worse, when I sit down to make a list of something, or write something down (a note, some ideas), I get the urge to turn on the computer and write it, rather than take a piece of paper and pen.

Another thing is auto-correct short-cuts. I made so many auto-corrections for Polish words with diacritical signs that now when I sit down at another computer, I\'m hopelessly lost (but then the spellchecker comes in and that\'s where we left off icon_smile.gif


Adriana Caraccio Morgan, Dip Trans IOL  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:45
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I have to agree - I got lazy... Mar 17, 2003


Very interesting forum, and although I\'m very busy at the moment, I had to share my thoughts with you.

Unfortunately, have to say that I agree. I got lazy, maybe, don\'t know if that\'s the best word. Maybe I trust the spellchecker too much now. In the past, I used to have the right spelling in my head, I could even \'see\' the word before writing it. This both in Portuguese and in English. Now... not anymore...

Maybe I\'m just getting old, who knows? icon_smile.gif





Carolyn Denoncourt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Confirming the obvious? Mar 17, 2003

It seems like a lot of research these days is done just to provide a thesis topic for a student. What would be interesting would be to see if the percentage of people \"doing worse\" when regularly using spell/grammar check is about the same percentage of the general population who exhibited spelling/grammar deficiencies even before word processing. It\'s possible that those of us with good spell/grammar skills just turn off Microsoft\'s intrusive \"help\" and only rarely use it. I know that\'s what I prefer to do.


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tell me that again Mar 17, 2003

I used to have a problem with a Word 2000 that went crazy \"riding on\" 4 languages. Now I have the high-security Word XP configured to recognize all four... and it throws out my Tagalog files.

Oh, yes. I have to disable the corrector in order to overwrite files at all.

Sometimes I feel Bill Gates never had us in mind as clients. And the website doesn\'t give any human assistance, either. icon_frown.gif


George Hopkins
Local time: 03:45
Swedish to English
Spellchecking Mar 18, 2003

We have to remember that what is offered is advice, nothing else.

Once upon a time I used WordPerfect and preferred it to Word, not least because it gave me the choice of modern British English spelling, as recommended by dictionaries such as Oxford or Collins.

For example, the \'first choice\' of spelling organization with a z instead of organisation with an s.

Modern spelling gives a text a more \"international\" flavour, while still retaining \"proper\" spelling, yes, of words like flavour, colour, etc. Word does not support this advantage.


Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
English to German
+ ...
it depends.. Mar 18, 2003

It would probably be difficult to get accustomed to the standards of electric or even mechanic typewriters again (although I\'ve been a professional for that).

But some days ago I had to do a transcript of 12 pages English text from paper and the Word correction taught me a lot icon_lol.gif

[ This Message was edited by: Harry_B on 2003-03-22 14:19]


George Hopkins
Local time: 03:45
Swedish to English
Taut Mar 22, 2003

Hello Harry,

A slip of the keyboard? The word is taught.


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