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Advice on Spell-Checking

Today I received good spell-checking advice in an email from Attorney Weston M. Binford, Jr., CPA. He pointed out that spell-check in Microsoft Word 2003 ignores any text with a number in it, therefore not catching an error like this:


Experimenting, he realized:

Apparently any numberinsertedmakes7itok

It turns out that spell-check has an option “Ignore words with numbers” that you need to uncheck if you are the kind of typist who may tap in a number now and then by mistake.

Weston also reminded me that spell-check does not check your auto-signature. (He learned this lesson the hard way.) It’s essential to carefully proofread signature content such as confidentiality notices.

When I asked Weston for his permission to post this useful information, he responded:

“Of course, anything that will save others my embarrassment. Attorneys charge good money for being precise and accurate, and such mistakes do not win confidence.”

Well said. Thanks, Weston.


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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.