Spellcheck Sucks: “That Am” The Truth

Here’s the sentence Spellcheck marked just now:

“I mean, you wanna step out with me, that’s fine, c’mon.”

And why did it mark this sentence? Oh, Spellcheck works in mysterious ways, but the reason it gave was this:

“Subject-Verb Agreement. Suggestions: ‘that am'”

Wait… what? That AM? “You wanna step out with me, that AM fine”?

I can’t even think of a situation in which “that am” would even be an option, let alone this one, in which it is utterly ridiculous! Why would “that am” even be programmed into a spellchecker? Did they say “OK, spellchecker, now if you ever see THIS particular situation…” (and the definition of THIS will have to be left to greater minds than mine) “… suggest ‘that am’. Yeah, that’s much better.”

No, of course not. What they did was say “OK, spellchecker, now, if this bizarre arrangement of circumstances should occur — or, for that matter, if ANY circumstances at ALL should occur — whatever you do, do not NOT suggest ‘that am’. You know… you never know!”

Yes! We do! We do know! Whatever else we may be unclear about, we do know that “that am” is just never going to be the answer. And that’s really what we want. We want a spellchecker smart enough to know when the suggestion that bubbles to the surface is just plain dumb.

Also I want a solid-gold potty. And that’s not gonna happen either.


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