Oh the places a typo can take you

29 Jan

Spell check: it’s a great thing when it works. However, it has one massive handicap. I speak, of course, of the English language.

English has roughly a bazillion words in its vocabulary. Maybe more. And like any langauge, it morphs and changes over time. Now, our poor spell checkers try to stay on top of that mess, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. The only word processor component I have greater sympathy for is the grammar checker. That thing doesn’t have a chance. I mostly ignore it.

Anyway, back to spell check. There’s only so much room in its little electronic brain. Archaic words have to go. Quirky, specialized, out-of-the way words never make it in. And this leads to amusing things.

In MS Word, I’ve noticed that it understandably has some trouble with certain biblical and theological terms. Obscure Bible names confuse it. Certain terms referring to ancient Christological heresies confuse it. The words “egalitarianism” and “complementarian” confuse it.

It also has trouble with some words that, growing up in a Christian environment, I never knew were so obscure. Spell check didn’t know the word “servanthood”, and was offering to correct it with the two words “servant hood”.

Now, if you’re a word nerd like me, you roll your eyes at the sad spell checker that can’t keep up with the times, and either ignore it, or add the troublesome word to its dictionary. However, if you’re not a word nerd, you probably assume the spell checker is right, and you’re not. It’s been programmed to do this, after all. So naturally, you accept its suggestion.

I was reading some material today where I believe the non-word-nerdiness applies. I gather this from when it was speaking of Jesus reigning over the earth; it did not say “rulership”, but rather, “ruler ship”. This may have been the author’s own doing, but I suspect a very confused spell checker was involved.

That typo was simply too good to pass up.

So without further ado, I present to you, dear reader, the RULER SHIP.

Look, Ma! It's the ruler ship!

Please note the compass landing gear, useful for making crop circles.


Posted by on January 29, 2009 in Uncategorized


16 responses to “Oh the places a typo can take you

  1. Dorean Beattie

    January 29, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I don’t know if it’s healthy to laught this hard first thing in the morning! Crop circles,indeed!

  2. brianbeattie

    January 29, 2009 at 9:45 am

    That’s brilliant. Hilarious!!

    BTW: In the spirit of “raisin”, I offer “believe” as in: “… reading some material today where I beleive the …”

  3. Christine

    January 29, 2009 at 11:17 am

    🙂 I still love this. Do you still have the little one? The one that you showed me in the PRAYER ROOM that made me laugh for a really long time? 🙂

    I find it sad that New Zealand isn’t real, according to most spell checkers. And I know what you mean about the theological terms and such. Often while editing books, I have to add many a word (or ignore several just so that I can see the actual errors in the midst of the sea of red squiggles.

    Because of that spell check handicap, I can’t tell you how many times I end up typing pirate choruses in the prayer room. Probably once every week or two, I end up putting me instead of my because I type quickly and don’t really pay as much attention as I would like to think I do.

  4. Christine

    January 29, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Oh sad… Mr. Parenthesis never got a mate. I hate it when people do that. Most especially, I hate it when I do that. Sigh…

  5. Jenn S. (a.k.a. Ducky)

    January 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    That sketch made my day.

    And may I add my editorial commiseration to yours…”servant hood” and its ilk have annoyed me many times!

  6. Sandy Coultas

    January 30, 2009 at 1:15 am

    By definition, hood is slang for neighborhood. It stands to reason that a servant hood is the place in a town where all the servants live! I wish that I would have kept a book listing all the ridiculous suggestions spell check has given me to replace perfectly legitimate word choices. I’ve had plenty of laughs over them!

  7. Kate

    January 30, 2009 at 7:24 am

    (and a New Zealander inserts…) not real???

  8. Dorean Beattie

    January 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

    It doesn’t know “homeschool”, either. Weird.

  9. Ruth

    January 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Great! Good to know 🙂 I sometimes have to write english in MS Word and of course assume that the spell checker is ALWAYS right because English is not my arterial language!

  10. Christine

    January 31, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I know… the New Zealand thing is rather shocking. I can’t imagine where our roommate Wendy has disappeared to this month, her “home” being imaginary and all.

  11. John Barker

    January 31, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Ahh look at the productive things that get done in the pryaer room! HA! I’m not the only one who’s mind wanders at times. (some of my post must drive you nuts with all the typos) Anyhow, I won’t be online for the next month, I will be back in March though. That drawing is a classic, by the way.

  12. John Barker

    January 31, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Even when I tryed to be good with my spelling, I have prayer room spelt rong.

  13. Amanda Beattie

    February 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Typos I can deal with. Spelling errors in published works that should have been caught by an editor somewhere — THOSE make me laugh.

  14. christiankane

    February 2, 2009 at 3:50 am


    I particularly enjoy that your rulers are in the English measurements rather than metric… it adds an unintentional sense of the ironic for me.

  15. S. Hamley Bildebrandt

    February 2, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    NIcely done, Amanda. In so many ways, nicely done.

  16. Kacie

    February 10, 2009 at 11:55 am

    that was cute… : )

    also worth the laugh is christine’s mention of her pirate choruses. oh, how i miss those. they were me favorite.


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