Why is that word wrong? I didn’t write that? The problem is figuring out what happened.
It’s the Word Monster! Or better known as the dreaded spell check trap.
Because of this Word Monster, proofreading your own paper is even more important. Spell check is helpful, but those squiggly lines that appear under your words or citations don’t necessarily mean they are wrong.
Proofreading is an important part of the writing process because if wrong words appear in sentences, then they can alter the entire meaning of those sentences.
Examples of the Word Monster within your paper can be:
Define and definite
Obtain and abstain
Weather and whether
Affect vs. effect
Corpse vs. corps
Text anxiety vs. test anxiety
Immunity vs. impunity
Test vs. testes
They’re vs. there vs. their
Along with word changes, sometimes Microsoft Word has weird squiggly lines underneath citations. An example would be a citation I turned in for a paper recently:
Baker, Timothy C. “The (Neuro)- Aesthetics of Caricature: Representations of Reality in Bret Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park.” Poetics Today. Fall 2009. MLA International Biography. Web. 1 September 2011.
Though the citation is right, the Word Monster underlines parts of my citation as if they were wrong, and they are not.
Because of the Word Monster's antics, proofreading is even more important than it was when we had no other option than writing papers by hand and then typing them.
So watch out for the Word Monster! Proofread your papers before you turn them in and make sure your words are your words, not the Monster’s!