Stop Blaming Auto Correct and Spell Check!

Maybe it was a typo; maybe it wasn’t. Either way it’s inexcusable and avoidable.

Ben Akselrod is running for the Democratic Assembly in the Sheepshead Bay district in New York. A campaign mailer, sent on his behalf, used the phrase, “negrohood.”  Akselrod apologized and said it was a typo.

Typos happen.  But this really is inexcusable on a number of fronts.

One, it’s a campaign mailer. How is that someone didn’t give it a final review before sending it out? Every piece of final copy on any professional level should be proofread, more than once and by more than one person.

Two, who’s not paying even the slightest attention? You can’t type that word without every spell check system in the computer universe pointing out that it’s wrong.  Maybe someone meant to let slip a racially loaded phrase. But, is there only one person over there?

Three, it’s hard to call this a typo. Unless the typist is not English-speaking, is illiterate and/or completely incompetent (and I’m not ruling out any of the above) how does one get negrohood when typing neighborhood? Sure, the letters are all there, but it really takes some effort to go from one to the other.

Incompetence, sloppiness, inexcusable. None of it OK and none of it excused because of a typo. If what you’re producing is important, treat it as such. We move very quickly in today’s society and our habit seems to be to send before we proof. And then apologize.

Slow down. Proofread. Read it out loud. We are all responsible for our work. It’s not the fault of spell check or auto correct. It’s our fault for moving too fast.


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