The Pros and Cons of Spell Checks You Might Not Be Aware Of

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The ability to write in plain English without making grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes is what distinguishes an effective writer from others. Many years ago, one could rely solely on their writing skills, good command of grammar, and mental acuity to produce high quality writings. But now there are plenty of special tools and applications that help students, editors, content makers, and ordinary people whose life isn't connected with writing effectively communicate various ideas without spending countless hours on proofreading. Such magic tools are called spell checkers. With a good spell check at hand you can quickly identify typos in your documents, remove grammar mistakes, replace a misspelled word with a proper equivalent, and do lots of other things to improve your writing and make it error-free. But there are also some downsides to using spell-check software you should take note of. So, let's take a closer look at both advantages and drawbacks of using spell checkers.


It's not a secret that spell checks provide us with the opportunity to focus on such important aspects of writing as developing an argument, structuring ideas, and presenting evidence rather than spotting and predicting possible mistakes. Creating an official letter, report, or an academic paper can put a lot of strain on writers, and spell checking software can alleviate the writing burden, at least to a certain degree.

Time is one of the most valuable resources people have at their disposal. And by enabling your spell check you can save a great deal of time. No need to read and re-read each word several times to make sure you haven't made any mistakes. Your tool will do the responsible job and alert you to a potentially misspelled word and suggest the most appropriate substitution. Some checkers highlight the words or parts of your sentences that don't correspond with the words or grammar patterns in their databases, while others automatically substitute the wrong words with their correct equivalents.

You may be surprised to learn that spell checkers serve a noble cause. These days, grammar and spell checking tools are used not only to help writers and editors in spotting and correcting cumbersome mistakes, but also assist agraphic and dyslexic people who cannot craft successful papers due to the cognitive or neurological impairments.


Besides the aforementioned benefits, there are also some hidden pitfalls you may not recognize right away. 

As with any software designed to make our life less stressful and easier, spell checks become responsible for lack of attention and complacency we begin to demonstrate when using them. We know that smart digital 'proofreaders' are always there for us and often become too careless when it comes to editing. We tend to rely on spell and grammar checkers wholeheartedly and often do not bother to manually proofread our writing, which cannot but influence its quality. The false sense of security may also prevent you from going over your writing again, which may lead to failure to identify and correct errors in a timely manner.

Finally, you shouldn't forget that apart from the words contained in your checker's dictionary, there are tons of other words, e.g. proper names, borrowings, and neologisms, which your spell checker won't identify as correct merely because they are absent from its database. There are also the situations, where you might need to deliberately misspell a certain word or use the word that graphically resembles its look-alike counterpart from the dictionary. You definitely don't want your tool to automatically replace this word with the allegedly correct variant.  

Trust, but verify. Nowhere does this old saying works better than in the case with spell-check software. The onus is on you to produce high quality and unique papers that both read and look good. And spell checks will help you add the final improvements to your text and make sure that your paper is up to par.

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