What spellcheck can’t catch

This afternoon in the office, several of us had quite a laugh over an email that was sent to members of our fellowship committee. It was a reminder that Monday is that day members of the department will take turns ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, across the street at Wal-Mart, and we want to serve bowls of hot chili to warm them up when they come back indoors. But one little typo sort of changed the meaning of this message:

Just sending a reminder that you had graciously volunteered to being chili Monday to warm our bell-ringers.

One of our chili chefs promptly informed the committee chair that she was not going to be chili and she certainly wasn’t going to warm anyone. He quickly sent out a correction, with the word BRING in capital letters.

I hadn’t even read the initial email myself. I was busy enjoying the appreciative response I had gotten to an email I had sent, in response to a manager’s notice about a contest to be held next week. Now, there really was nothing wrong with the email he sent – but it was just too tempting to read it a bit differently than he had intended. My response:

Regarding the IT Holiday Re-Work Contest, it says that “all functional teams are eligible.” What about the dysfunctional teams? If they’re not eligible, will there be anyone competing?

Anytime I start laughing over emails, I always remember two from a few years ago. First there was one from someone on another team about how our team could make use of Sharepoint. It’s a wonderful tool for sharing information, and she recommended we use it for “carnal knowledge.” I did a double-take, then asked my manager what she could possibly have meant. Eventually he suggested that she must have meant “tribal knowledge,” but I’ve never figured out what mistyping of tribal led the spellchecker to “correct” it to carnal.

Not long after that, my own manager sent an email out after some incident that had made extra work for some people. He apologized for any incontinence he had caused. I’ve heard since of the same error made elsewhere – it’s not too hard to see how spellcheck does that one. But I still smile every time I think of it.


One Response to What spellcheck can’t catch

  1. Margaret Packard says:

    I remember receiving an email that from now on, our company would purchase all stationary materials from a different supplier. I then emailed my coworkers, what about moving materials. This led to a mention of emoticons and had us all laughing.

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