From: Nancy Gish
I love this story. I will give it to all my classes when I tell them
that if the
spell checker introduces wrong words, they as editors are responsible.
The first thing I had done to my computer was to have the spell checker
and grammar checker turned off. The latter are even worse. I saw over
Administrative Assistant's shoulder once a mass of red and green
squiggles and asked what they were for. She said they flagged errors.
Astonished, I read what they flagged. The machine was changing all my
restrictive clauses to nonrestrictive ones. I immediately changed them
back. That is an interesting example of the limits of machines. Since
large percentage of clauses are one or the other depending on the
intent and not on any requirement, no computer can, even in theory, know
which is called for. And the meanings are quite different. Since the
computer is a binary system, it only knows A or B. It has no nuance.
(Jacek--so much here to snipe at, enjoy.)
I'm rerminded of Swift's Academy of Lagado -- people using machines
that don't work, to do things they don't want to do.
Why, for heaven's sake, use the thing if it's so much
trouble? What's stopping you from pulling the plug
and getting out the old Underwood?