Saturday, March 20, 2004

Stealth enemies

A pubic forum? A state statue?

It's easy to read over some misspellings. And when you can't rely on spell check (because these misspellings form other valid words), what do you do?

The easy thing: Train yourself to stop on those words. Every time I read "public" I try to look for that all-important L. I've heard enough horror stories of "Council seeks pubic input" to make me wary. The statue vs. statute problem is less egregious, but that makes it easier to miss.

More difficult but more effective: At least in pubic's case, talk to the people in charge of technology. They should be able to add or delete words to your Microsoft Word dictionary. If spell check stops at "pubic," the word is less likely to slip into the paper.

But you wouldn't be the first: pubic, statue.


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