The Dangers of Spell Check

Autocorrect. Spell check.

Whatever you wanna call it, it’s truly a great tool that often makes writing much easier.

But it does have its quirks. It ain’t perfect.

For example, I can’t get my damned iPhone to stop capitalizing the “a” in “apple”. Not everything is Apple…there are, indeed, actual 🍎s in the world!

And then there’s Mark & mark.

Nick & nick.

May & may.

The whole topic of spell check does bring to mind a “funny” incident that occurred at the USCC/U.S. Citibanking Center during the ‘90s.

We’re putting together a presentation for a visiting senior Citi executive so, of course, everyone entered the…

*cue the ominous-sounding music like “Law & Order”*

…dog-and-pony show zone.

🎵 Dumm! Dumm! 🎶

A slide presentation (utilizing the overhead projector…how quaint, like a gas lantern!) was written up, explaining the origin of the USCC, our role in the U.S. Consumer Bank, major milestones & accomplishments to date & a whole bunch of truly-fascinating information.

*yawn* 🥱

During this time, we had a college intern…a nice, bright young lady…who was spending 6-7 weeks of her summer break with us.

We assigned her the task of printing out the presentation, making the actual transparent overhead slides & then distributing hard copies for all attendees.

Seemed simple enough, no?

There was no reason whatsoever to believe that this simple assignment wouldn’t be completed flawlessly.

Our honored guest was due to arrive first thing in the morning & we’d ordered breakfast for everyone in the Board Room.

Next day comes & everyone gathers, awaiting the arrival of our special guest.

Just to make sure everything was perfect, I ask our intern to see a copy of the presentation before we handed out any copies & began the formal presentation.

And all I can say is “Thank the Good Lord I did!!!”

I’m reading the very first page & something, er, quite interesting immediately catches my eye.


Yeah, SUCK!

Paging through the entire package, I see it everywhere.


And the fact that it was all in CAPITAL LETTERS made it just jump off the page!

Look, if this were a formal presentation at the Harvard School of Medicine about the early stages of motherhood or a discussion of “mother’s milk vs. formula”, I could easily understand its presence.

*hears the chanting emanating from the peanut gallery*

“Yes, yes, yes, I hear you, angry mob! I know, this story’s about the early days of San Antonio so the use of the word ‘suck’ should really not be a major surprise to anyone!”

Note: We were never big on self-reflection & since we created this whole presentation (about us) ourselves, the use of “suck” was never gonna happen.

Just like almost every large American corporation, priorities often appeared to be:

1) Look good.

2) Make a good impression.

3) If at all possible, do good (or, at least, give it a try).

4) Go to lunch.

*applies the brakes to that the sarcasm train*

Apparently, and you can certainly try this out for yourselves, the autocorrection function will routinely replace “USCC” with “SUCK”, unless & until you override it & then add the acronym to its dictionary!!!

I could just imagine what kind of first impression that would have made on our guest!

I’m glad I had that feeling to take one last peek at the material before we went live.

We, er, I quickly scrambled to correct the error & print out new overheads & hard copies.

You can never be too careful & it never hurts to double-check your SHIT, er, I mean, stuff!

Oh & BTW, our intern was instructed to simply “print out the presentation,  make a set of overhead slides & copies for all attendees.”

I did give her extra points for taking the initiative to spell-check the entire piece. 💯

But then I deducted all those points…and more…for blindly “accepting” the proposed “SUCK” version (and choosing the REPLACE ALL option) without re-reading everything again.

Oy vey! 😵


As always, thank you so very much for listening!

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