Spell Checking Is No Replacement for a Good Proofer
We’ve said it before, and I’m sure we’ll say it again: Just because you run a spell-check on something doesn’t mean that it’s right. InDesign does a pretty good job of checking spelling, but it’s not perfect. After all, if you write “The not is hard to tie” it will spell-check correctly but is incorrect (should be “knot”).
Another lesson we should all remember is that human error can creep in, even when Check Spelling is trying to do the right thing. Take, for example, the recent example of The Daily Universe, the student paper at Brigham Young University in Utah. Basically, a student editor ran a spell-check in InDesign, found a misspelling (“apsotale”), and replaced it with the first suggestion InDesign offered: “apostate” rather than the second (correct) suggestion “apostle.” While the words are similar, they mean very, very different things.
You could argue that InDesign have known better, but the program will always just be software (we hope) and so it’s never really going to know right from wrong (we really hope). That’s the human’s job.
(I know that some reader is going to find a typo in this post. Jeez, I just know it… Heck, I’m a writer, not an editor! ;) )