Oct 25, 2002

Who's writing Microsoft Outlook's spellcheck application? Umberto Eco?

I just received a courteous spellcheck alert about my use of the word "cheeseball" in an email I was about to send. The suggested replacement was "chasuble," which is defined by Merriam-Webster as follows:

'cha-z&-b&l, -zh&-, -s&-
Etymology: Middle French, from Late Latin casubla hooded garment
Date: 14th century
: a sleeveless outer vestment worn by the officiating priest at mass

I am usually dismissive of Microsoft's questionable brand of erudition. I mean, Microsoft's grammar check will balk if your sentence is complex enough to require more than one comma. But this time I was truly surprised at how arcane the entry was.

I was half-tempted to accept the suggested change, just for kicks. But I was using "cheeseball" adjectivally, and "chasuble" is clearly a noun. Even for the sake of humor, I'm not going to be that irresponsible.

P.S. "Kryptonite" isn't in the Microsoft lexicon, either. What possible good can this dictionary do me?

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:44 AM | Back to Monoblog