Do you ever wonder about the spell checker on your computer?
You know - that function that when you spell a word incorrectly, it makes a stab at it. "Did you mean ...." it politely suggests
I mean who programmes the suggestions that it comes up with.
My old computer always took this responsibility seriously. If I keyed in "prolbem" it would enquire as to whether I really meant "problem". And without a doubt, I did.
But this new computer appears to have a frivolous side. It does not take it's spell checker duties seriously.
I meant to type in "rhamnosus" - it's the name of a bacteria - but my fingers managed to transpose two letters to make this "rhanmosus".
Now, I'm the first to admit that "rhanmosus" is a tricky one to make a suggestion for, but my OLD spell checker would have given it due consideration and asked if perhaps I meant "ransom" or "Ramses". Look, I would have been happy with a stab at "hanuman", the sacred monkey of India, or even "hippopotamus", the not very sacred podge from Africa. Those are honest attempts that I can understand.
(In actual fact my old spell checker knew how to spell this word as well as a zillion other tricky bacterial names and would have simply given me the correct spelling without making such a song and dance about it.)
But no, the NEW computer studied my incorrect spelling of "rhanmosus" and suggested "southwesterly" or if I didn't fancy that I could have "doorhandle"!
So I ask you, who programmes these things?
Is it some strange little man with a twisted sense of humour? I suspect it must be. No one else could come up with such off-target suggestions.
In some dark room at the back of Spell Checker Headquarters, there is a middle aged geek working his way through a secondhand copy of the Latvian to English translation dictionary. And right now he's thinking "today's word is "porridge"" and it really doesn't matter what you type in.
Whatever your word, he's going to very politely suggest, "Did you mean porridge"!
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