When you use your computer's spell-checker or grammar-checker, Paula LaRocque advises in her book "Championship Writing," be careful.
"The grammar-checker's shortcomings recall the truism that to create artificial intelligence, it takes the real thing," writes LaRocque, assistant managing editor and writing coach at the Dallas Morning News (when she wrote this book at the turn of the millennium).
The chapter on spell-checkers is in this roundup of my ten favorites (of 50 chapters) because the errors can be funny ones.
(Wanting to laugh at grammar problems can help make them easier to find, as I know from long and silly experience. Sometimes I'm Serious about laughter.)
Here's LaRocque's first example:
"Original: 'Brevity and clarity are companions.'
"Grammar Checker: 'The word clarity does not agree with are. Consider is instead of are.' "
Of course, that's saying "Consider making it wrong!"
We don't consider such things here, so in the interest of brevity, I'll sign off.
For the next post, "Notes on Usage," come back next week or subscribe by clicking the button that decorates the top of this page.