Yes, that should have said ’trust’, not tryst. But it was a deliberate error on our part to illustrate a very important point. Which is that it’s very easy to become just a tiny bit too reliant on the computer’s spelling and grammar check feature.

The problem is this. The computer only knows how to spell, and to spot dodgy syntax. But it doesn’t really have a clue what we are trying to say. Unfortunately, this can sometimes leave the people we’re talking to in the same position.

We came across this wonderful example on the web of how badly – and comically – things can go wrong. (It’s by Anon, the Banksy of the written word.)

Eye halve a spelling checker
It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marks four my revue miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a quay and type a word and weight for it to say
Weather eye yam wrong oar write.
It shows me strait a weigh as soon as a mist ache is maid.
It nose bee fore two long and eye can put the error rite.
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it,
I am shore your pleased to no.
Its letter perfect awl the way.
My checker told me sew.

Okay, a bit of an exaggeration. And to be fair, we’ve run the spelling and grammar check over it and it did pick up on a few of the obvious errors. Yet it’s a good reminder that no matter how clever software gets, there’s no substitute for diligent proofreading and an experienced eye.

So, we should never get too complaisant, should we?