I have been writing since age 5. First it was just my name. Then it was basic sentences in grade school (“See spot run”). Eventually it was long essays in middle school followed by even longer term papers in high school. One such paper was a 10 page (minimum) paper on a favorite United States President. I waxed eloquent for 12 pages about Abraham Lincoln. The teacher graded my paper (and 22 others) in a 45 minute period in the dark while we watched some boring filmstrip (remember those?) about something in history. Before we left class that day, I discovered three things:
- The class finds it really funny when you “pick” someones nose on the big screen while the teacher isn’t looking.
- I get good grades when I write. I got an “A+” for my Abe Lincoln filibuster.
- No one really reads what I write (which is sadly, directly correlated to #2)
And thus… my writing career began.
After high school, I retired my #2 pencil and graduated to the keyboard. Writing became even more fun and fast. I went on to college and wrote dozens of other papers with mostly positive results. Along the way, I quickly realized the importance of spell check. I no longer had to re-read my boring writing and check for errors, I simply could let the spell checker do the work for me. That is, until my Freshman year English class fiasco.
After procrastinating on a 20+ pager due tomorrow, I wrote the paper in less than 24 hours. With only 30 minutes to spare before the deadline, I needed to print it out and walk (aka sprint) across campus to submit it in time. I hit “save” and it asked if I wanted to spell check the document. Of course! It then asked if I wanted to make changes. Of course! I blindly hit “yes” to everything, printed it out and was on my way.
A week later, the professor handed back the papers… all except mine. When he asked who did not receive their paper back, naturally – my hand went up. “Ah, yes. That makes sense. Why don’t you come up and get your paper?”, he said with a devilish smirk on his face. I grabbed the paper and my mouth dropped open.
Somehow, I signed the paper, “Rod Arters” and evil spell check turned it into, “Rodent Arteries”.
Spell check: 1, Rod: 0
By the way, I received a “B” on that paper. The professor thought the content was excellent but could not give an “A” to someone who couldn’t spell their own name. =sigh=
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