Spellcheckers are a common component of computer-based word processors such as the ubiquitous Microsoft Word. Word processors are used near universally in business offices, and therefore used daily by office drones.

The trouble with this situation is that neither office drones nor spellcheckers are always adept enough to effectively proofread a document for errors. The failure to do so might be caused by an over-reliance on technology, as some would argue. It might also be the fault of a flawed educational system. Doubtless, the reasons are diverse.

If only distributed internally, these errors reflect solely on the reputation of the individual. Inevitably, however, some important communication will leave the bounds of the organization carrying an embarrassing, albeit correctly spelled, grammatical blooper. Then, the harm may not be apparent, but it is very likely to be real. Consider the following anecdote:

A few years ago, my wife received a memo from the office of a large homebuilder that she deals with. The memo was delivered to at least fifty subcontractors, explaining that the schedule needed to be changed for some reason or another. In conclusion, the author apologized, "Sorry for any incontinence this may have caused you." Clearly we can infer that they meant to ask forgiveness for the inconvenience, but the effect of what they did say was very different. After a good deal of laughter, I realized how sad it was that this person not only mispelled "inconvenience" but also overlooked this horrifying auto-correction. In the end, this company suffers the disadvantage of a diminished professional image in the eyes of those it deals with.

This story highlights the necessity of proofreading written business communication, especially external. It should be a matter of policy in any serious organization, or they deserve what they get. Of course, I really do appreciate the opportunity to have fun at someone else's expense on occasion.