Spell czech, for better or wurst?
How might you drag a good writer’s work down to the level of a lesser scribe? Try the spell-check button. A study at the University of Pittsburgh indicates spell-check software may level the playing field between people with differing levels of language skills, hampering the work of writers and editors who place too much trust in the software. In the study, 33 undergraduate students were asked to proofread a one-page business letter – half of them using Microsoft Word with its squiggly red and green lines underlining potential errors. The other half did it the old-fashioned way, using only their heads. Without grammar or spelling software, students with higher SAT verbal scores made, on average, five errors, compared with 12.3 errors for students with lower scores. Using the software, students with higher verbal scores reading the same page made, on average, 16 errors, compared with 17 errors for students with lower scores. Dennis Galletta, a professor of information systems at the Katz Business School, said spell-checking software is so sophisticated that some have come to trust it too thoroughly. Full Story