I don't want you to get obsessed with my sneering opportunities.
Next time I have access to the on-line version of the OED, I'll see where
"sneer" came from.
It's quite likely that in the beginning it had had what you people would
call "affirmative connotation" or some other nonsense of the same kind.
I intensely dislike the kind of person Harold Bloom, THE ULTIMATE SNEERER,
is, but I have a feeling that in his many comments he took care of the kind
of gobbledygook you guys proffer with such elan.
Unfortunately, with the drought and all other misfortunes that hit the
Western Hemisphere, there is no river like Alpheus that made it possible for
Heracles to clear the dirt in Augeas' stables.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: Spelling checkers (was: Barbarians at the Gates)
> Dear Steve,
> I love this story. I will give it to all my classes when I tell them that
> 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 a
> large percentage of clauses are one or the other depending on the author's
> 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.)
> Date sent: Tue, 20 May 2003 14:16:48 -0400
> Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
<[log in to unmask]>
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Spelling checkers (was: Barbarians at the Gates)
> To: [log in to unmask]
> In a message dated 5/20/2003 10:22:42 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> > Spell checkers cannot, which is why they are
> > such an annoyance. They only know if a
> > word is a word and sometimes not even that.
> > They split compound words, reject names,
> > and change words to what they recognize--
> > one changed my word "clitoridectomy"
> > to "coldheartedness." An amusing
> > slip but really not what I needed to write.
> My favorite spelling checker horror story actually happened to me. I had
> just formed a new company with several people, and the partners didn't
> really know (or fully trust) each other. I had written a long letter to
> of the company, a man by the name of Fred Jacobs. Since I'm a terrible
> speller, I tended to blindly hit accept for all the changes recommended by
> the spelling checker. It's a good thing I decided to proofread the letter
> final time, because I was about to send a letter to the CEO (and to all
> partners) addressed to Fraud Jackass.
> -- Steve --