The Importance of Quality Practices

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By Colin Ramsden, August 2006.

Spell-checking provides the technical writer with the assurance that every word in the document is a valid word recognized by the spell-checkers dictionary, however, does not provide the writer with the assurance that the sentence conveys the proper meaning. The following example demonstrates how a seemingly innocuous typographic error (typo) produced a properly spelled word with a completely different meaning. See if you can identify the culprit:

"All Microsoft Office applications are OLE Automation servers to some extent, and can be subsequently controlled by any OLE Automation complaint controller, using the appropriate syntax to manipulate and control the relevant application object model."

Hmmm... a complaint controller seems like a good idea. Where do I get one? And will it remain compliant? :)

This was not picked up by the spell checker, but by proof reading the document. Only through the establishment of consistent quality practices involving both spell-checking AND proof-reading, can the writer be assured of high quality output.

Spell-checker poem

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am 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 rarely ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.


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See Also

Jump across to separate topic Plain English Writing | Jump across to separate topic Technical Writing | Jump across to separate topic Advanced Technical Writing |
Jump across to different topic Effective Communication | Jump across to different topic Effective Managers | Jump to site index page Lotech Solutions' Tips, Tricks, and Procedures

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