When Spell Check Isn't Enough

Everyone loves a good autocorrect error. I mean, when is it not funny when cologne is changed to colon, or invite is changed to inflate, or humidifier is changed to homicide (see DYAC Hall of Fame for evidence). As amusing as it is, though, to make fun of some of the unintended consequences of autocorrect and spell check, we have to admit that we’re better off with this technology than without. Just imagine the last text or email you sent while waiting in line at Chipotle or the airport security line. How much more tedious, and possibly impossible, would it have been to tap out those messages if you had to be 100% accurate with those tiny touchscreen letters? (For a fun read, check out the fascinating history of autocorrect on wired.com.)

The fact is, we all make mistakes (yes, even your colleague with the Dvorak keyboard). It’s an incredible time-saver that just about every mobile device, word processing application, browser, and content management system these days offers some kind of spell check to help protect you from yourself. However, spell check is often not enough to ensure that your site's content is clear, error-free, and inoffensive. Here are a few scenarios when spell check can’t save you.

1. Spell Check Doesn’t Catch Correctly Spelled Words

There are a lot of words that pass muster with basic spell checkers because they are, in fact, spelled correctly. Maybe you type pubic when you really meant public. (Maybe you typed types when you meant to type typed.) What about realty instead of reality? Or purse instead of parse? Or decent instead of descent? Possible examples are endless.

2. Your Content Contributors Don’t Use It

Having a built-in spell check feature in your WMS or CMS is wonderful, but this step is likely to be skipped when time is of the essence. Even if you can mandate the use of a spell checker from some administrative control, content contributors may still take the easy way out and click ignore, ignore, ignore...

3. Your Content Contributors Have Poor Judgment

There are some words that you simply don’t want on your site. They may be a little off-brand, they may be competitors’ names, or they may be downright racist or offensive. Either way, a basic spell-check tool may not catch these words, and if they aren’t caught in your editing and review process, they may make it onto your site and live there forever, offending visitors into eternity.

What to do?

When basic spell check isn’t enough, a more robust Web QA Tool is the solution. We can help! DubBot Web QA software looks for misspelled words, contextually inappropriate words, and potentially offensive and custom, off-brand hot words. Contact us for a demo to learn more!

Blaine Herman
Chief Bot Wrangler