Sue the Screenwriter challenges the determination of spell check

Posted in Blogs, Theater and Dance

SUZANNE KELMAN, Jan. 18, 2013

“@#$$%%!  Spell Check!”

I’m pretty sure the spell check on my computer is a Taurus. He can be bossy and stubborn and like a crazed English teacher, is forever underlining in green and red any word he doesn’t approve of.

It’s not that I don’t like Tauruses. I have many great friends whose sun was twinkling there the day they were born. It’s just my spell check seems to have an abundance of all the sign’s negative traits!

Now, I’m a Capricorn, so I can be pretty headstrong too, so we often have on-screen tangles that go something like this:

Me: (Typing) Im going out.

Spell Check: Are you sure you want to use the word Im?

Me: “Yes.” (I say out loud and I type it in again.)

Spell Check: You obviously didn’t notice I underlined it in red, so I’m doing it again.

I ignore his patronizing red zigzag line.

Spell Check: I can tell you’re not listening, so I will underline the whole sentence in green.

Spell Check: Also you know “imp” would work better.

Me: I don’t want “imp.” “Imp” going out doesn’t make any sense! And how often, realistically, do you use the word “imp” over the age of five!

Spell Check: Well, that’s fragmented anyway!

Me: (Making a raspberry sound) … to your fragmented! What does that mean, anyway? It sounds like one of those made up Star Trek words.

Scotty: “She’s going to blow Captain!”

Kirk: “How long have we got, Scotty?”

Scotty: “Not long, Captain! I’m holding her together; but she is fragmenting as we speak!”

Me: You are just trying to intimidate me with your fancy words.

Spell Check: Fragmented!

Me: Well, de-fragment me then! Should I change this word?

Spell Check: Fragmented!

Me: How about this word?

Spell Check: Fragmented. And you misspelled “imp” again!

Me: The word is Im! Im! Im!

Spell Check: Then maybe you should put punctuation in it so I know!


Spell Check: I’m definitely underlining THAT!

Me: OK. I haven’t the strength to argue with you anymore. I will write this later. I need to write out a shopping list anyway.

(I type)

1) Milk

Spell Check: Oh, Oh, I know where the “2)” should go! Let me put it in for you!

Me: Not you again! I don’t want a “2)” there!

Spell Check: That’s really where it should go.


Spell Check: MAKE ME!

Me: Stoooooop! I can’t take it! (I throw myself down on the keyboard, as my Piscean husband comes in.)

Husband:  How’s the writing going? (He asks tentatively.)

Me: (Muffled through the keyboard): Okay, I guess.

Husband: Have you been arguing with the spell check again?

(I don’t answer. He quietly makes me a cup of tea and pulls out paper and pen from the drawer and hands it to me.)

There’s something to be said for those calm Pisces people.

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