Today, our language is taking a very interesting course. We are an â€œauto-correctâ€ society. Well, you say, itâ€™s been that way for a long time. Actually, the technology has moved us into a world of â€œclose is good enough.â€ When it comes to precision in writing, weâ€™re on autopilot.
Sure, thereâ€™s the problem with to, too and two. Sometimes the spell checker acts unwittingly, reporting â€œYouâ€™re good to goâ€ when you are not. And, there are those pesky agreement errors and run-on sentences. Sometimes the computer gives us a heads up, other times not so much.
Now the computer does tell us thereâ€™s no such word as irregardless. Well, at least it underlines it and tries to warn us. But then thereâ€™s the sentence I read last week: â€œHonestly, I could care less about that issue.â€ Here is where the computer lets us down. It should be, â€œI could not care less about that issue.â€ Computer software is really advancing, but mistakes such as this are not caught by the micro-processor.
Tom Hirons, our company founder, had an exercise in his advertising class at Indiana University where copywriters could not start a sentence with â€œthe.â€ Certainly this rule helps the would-be wordsmith and, again, itâ€™s not something a computer will tell you. This is a matter of style, and our electronic friend has not been able to substitute fully for a well-informed writer.
I like this one. â€œYour ideas just donâ€™t jibe with mine.â€ Donâ€™t you mean jive? Nope. Itâ€™s hard when you start dealing with intransitive verbs, too. Our digital counterpart is not a verb savvy editor.
Softwareâ€™s ability to assist us is only getting better. Look how far voice recognition has come. But, thereâ€™s still going to be a place for some knowledge of grammar and spelling. I admit the auto-correct function is a real help, but itâ€™s an assist, not the final answer.