June 15, 2003
Spell checking is not a substitute...

...for knowing English. It's a little annoying to see the language butchered by amateurs, but it's intolerable when it crops up in (presumably edited) professional ad copy.

On the back of the "Five Star Collection" edition of Speed on DVD is this whoopsie:

KEANU REEVES stars as an L.A.P.D. SWAT team specialist who is sent to diffuse a bomb...(emphasis added)

Well, I suppose if he detonated it, that would be an example of diffusion.

Actually, I believe that Keanu's character was supposed to defuse the bomb.

</grammar nazi>

(Edited 15June/3:35 PM to expand upon why this error irritated me so thoroughly.)

posted on June 15, 2003 02:48 PM


As a veteran Grammar And Spelling Ogre, I sympathize. But do be careful. In these oh-so-enlightened times, calling others' language errors to their attention, however delicately, can get you labeled Public Enemy Number One.

My own greatest irritations are the "sync idle" phrases "you know" and "like." My stepdaughters' speech is lousy with both of them. I've given up trying to curb them, as the result is always a screaming crying fit that takes days to dry up.

And they wonder why Curmudgeons prefer not to talk to anyone!

posted by Francis W. Porretto on June 16, 2003 04:33 AM

Well, my writing skills are much better than my extemporaneous speaking skills. I don't use "you know" and "like" as filler, but I tend to use "like" as a synonym for "said", as in "I was like, 'whatever'". It's a terrible habit, I know, but I cannot seem to break myself of the habit.

One of the greatest virtues of blogging (or any type of writing, for that matter) is the ability to reconsider what one is saying before it makes it out into the world. The spoken word doesn't have an edit function...

posted by timekeeper on June 16, 2003 09:55 PM

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